A charming and adorably illustrated holiday tale of canine adventure and city exploration.

BROWNIE'S BIG PDXMAS

A lost dog navigates Portland, Oregon, at Christmastime in this illustrated children’s book.

Brownie, a brown and white Swiss Bernese, is thrilled to visit Portland with her human family to see the holiday decorations (“PDX, as it’s known, was all dressed up in lights / Loaded with Christmas-y, tasty delights”). When the canine gets lost, she roams the city looking for her family but gets distracted by delicious smells and festive sights, including Santa’s North Pole, a kids’ “winter wonderland faire,” and “great Christmas ships” on the river. But when “the big, peckish pup” smells something yummy on one of the boats, she hops aboard and messily devours a pot of fondue, horrifying the vessel’s humans. Back on land, Brownie grows cold and scared. As she cries, she is approached by a marten with a “bright red beret” named Martin (“Trash is my game”). He gives the sad pooch shelter and sustenance. The next day, the two critters head to Pioneer Square to find Brownie’s family. Things feel hopeless until Brownie gets a familiar whiff of bacon. She follows the scent “straight to her family!”—which is happy to see her. Back home, Brownie, her family (two adults and three kids), and Martin enjoy a pleasant Christmas. Stoner provides an engaging insider look at Portland’s lively holiday happenings. Those familiar with the city will enjoy spotting recognizable locales and events, while others will appreciate Portland’s offerings through the eyes of the daring dog protagonist. Khmelevska’s energetic illustrations show joyful, bustling city scenes and the cheerful White family. They feature holiday accents such as sparkles, snow-dusted dwellings, and Christmas spectacles like a gigantic tree. Recognizable Portland locations are noted in the images, including Powell’s City of Books and the Burnside Bridge.

A charming and adorably illustrated holiday tale of canine adventure and city exploration.

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-954017-05-4

Page Count: 59

Publisher: Marionberry Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 14, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Roller-coaster enthusiasts or not, children will eagerly join our intrepid hero on this entertaining ride.

THE PIGEON WILL RIDE THE ROLLER COASTER!

The Pigeon is on an emotional—and physical—roller coaster.

Since learning about the existence of roller coasters, he’s become giddy with excitement. The Pigeon prepares mentally: He’ll need a ticket and “exemplary patience” to wait in line. He envisions zooming up and down and careening through dizzying turns and loops. Then, he imagines his emotions afterward: exhilaration, post-ride blues, pride at having accomplished such a feat, and enthusiasm at the prospect of riding again. (He’ll also feel dizzy and nauseous.) All this before the Pigeon ever sets claw on an actual coaster. So…will he really try it? Are roller coasters fun? When the moment comes, everything seems to go according to plan: waiting in line, settling into the little car, THEN—off he goes! Though the ride itself isn’t quite what the Pigeon expected, it will delight readers. Wearing his feelings on his wing and speaking directly to the audience in first person, the Pigeon describes realistic thoughts and emotions about waiting and guessing about the unknown—common childhood experiences. No sentiment is misplaced; kids will relate to Pigeon’s eagerness and apprehension. The ending falls somewhat flat, but the whole humorous point is that an underwhelming adventure can still be thrilling enough to warrant repeating. Willems’ trademark droll illustrations will have readers giggling. The roller-coaster attendant is light-skinned. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Roller-coaster enthusiasts or not, children will eagerly join our intrepid hero on this entertaining ride. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-4549-4686-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Union Square Kids

Review Posted Online: June 8, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S HALLOWEEN

A lift-the-flap book gives the littlest trick-or-treaters some practice identifying partygoers under their costumes.

Little Blue Truck and his buddy Toad are off to a party, and they invite readers (and a black cat) along for the ride: “ ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ / says Little Blue. / ‘It’s Halloween!’ / You come, too.” As they drive, they are surprised (and joined) by many of their friends in costume. “Who’s that in a tutu / striking a pose / up on the tiniest / tips of her toes? / Under the mask / who do you see?” Lifting the flap unmasks a friend: “ ‘Quack!’ says the duck. / ‘It’s me! It’s me!’ ” The sheep is disguised as a clown, the cow’s a queen, the pig’s a witch, the hen and her chick are pirates, and the horse is a dragon. Not to be left out, Little Blue has a costume, too. The flaps are large and sturdy, and enough of the animals’ characteristic features are visible under and around the costumes that little ones will be able to make successful guesses even on the first reading. Lovely curvy shapes and autumn colors fade to dusky blues as night falls, and children are sure to notice the traditional elements of a Halloween party: apple bobbing, lit jack-o’-lanterns, and punch and treats.

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-77253-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

more