Toddlers will cheer this tale of exploration while simultaneously jumping to their feet to try every action, right along...

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FLY!

A young fly struggles to find his special talent.

Worm can wiggle. Fly tries to wiggle, but it just doesn’t look the same. Grasshopper can jump! Fly strains to jump, but his tiny feet barely make it off the ground. Poor Fly. He just can’t figure out what he is good at. From the title page, on which Fly is posed Thinker-like looking at his wings and pondering their existence, Fly’s determination is set. He goes from one garden friend to the next, trying to mimic their actions to see if he can do them too. Can he roll like the pill bug? Or march like the ants? No. It’s not until he sees Butterfly fluttering and Dragonfly flitting that he finally realizes his own special talent. He can…fly! In fewer than 20 words (action words, no less, with the exception of a single “Yes!”), Edwards pieces together a story of grand willpower and discovery. Fly is adorably earnest, with wide-set bulging eyes and six stubby legs that flail about in consternation. Setting his action against a clean, white background and drawing it in thick black outlines, Edwards shows how effective simplicity can be.

Toddlers will cheer this tale of exploration while simultaneously jumping to their feet to try every action, right along with Fly. (appended bug facts) (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-39283-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original...

A KISSING HAND FOR CHESTER RACCOON

From the Kissing Hand series

A sweetened, condensed version of the best-selling picture book, The Kissing Hand.

As in the original, Chester Raccoon is nervous about attending Owl’s night school (raccoons are nocturnal). His mom kisses him on the paw and reminds him, “With a Kissing Hand… / We’ll never be apart.” The text boils the story down to its key elements, causing this version to feel rushed. Gone is the list of fun things Chester will get to do at school. Fans of the original may be disappointed that this board edition uses a different illustrator. Gibson’s work is equally sentimental, but her renderings are stiff and flat in comparison to the watercolors of Harper and Leak. Very young readers will probably not understand that Owl’s tree, filled with opossums, a squirrel, a chipmunk and others, is supposed to be a school.

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original shouldn’t look to this version as replacement for their page-worn copies. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-933718-77-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Tanglewood Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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