A moderately challenging addition to the “seek and find” genre, large of format and cheery of tone.

READ REVIEW

LOOK FOR LADYBUG IN PLANT CITY

“Welcome to Plant City, where plants grow and ladybugs hide.”

Her mischievous pet ladybug having taken a powder, Daisy, a brown bunny, enlists Basil, a blue lizard and the best detective in town, to track him down—amid teeming hordes of smiling creatures and mazes of vegetation in a museum, a fair, a rock concert (in a cave, naturally), and seven other leafy locales. Filling each oversized spread with bright color and busy activity, Manolessou invites viewers to spot not only the errant insect, but seven other members of the diverse all-animal cast sleeping, crying, carrying various items, or, at Hedge Hospital, suffering specified maladies. At last, Basil comes away from a visit to the silly hat store with Ladybug on his head, so it’s time for some celebratory ice cream. The printed narrative adds dialogue and minor flourishes to the rudimentary storyline, but the pictures, full as they are of lively action and byplay, should prove the main draw.

A moderately challenging addition to the “seek and find” genre, large of format and cheery of tone. (visual key) (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-78603-029-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

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In what seems like a veritable golden age of beginning readers, perhaps some things are better not published. Or read.

WEDGIEMAN

A HERO IS BORN

From the Adventures of Wedgieman series , Vol. 1

Captain Underpants he ain’t.

Although some may initially associate Harper and Shea’s beginning reader with Pilkey’s popular series, it falls short with a thin story and none of the master's clever sense of subversive, ribald humor. The titular hero starts as Veggiebaby, then becomes Veggieboy, then Veggieman, his growth and development attributed to his love of vegetables. He practices his superpowers as he grows, with text and art taking cheap shots at elderly women (as he lifts “a bus filled with chattering grandmas”) and overweight people (as his X-ray vision enables him to see into a house where a rotund man stands, embarrassed and clad only in his underwear: “Some things are better not seen.”) The book ends with Veggieman getting a new name from children who see a stick stuck to his shirt, making the V into a W, and dub him Wedgieman. “We don’t care about spelling,” they assure him when he objects that the word “wedgie” has a “d” and not a double “g.” His new name is sealed when (in an odd turn of events that is, sadly, characteristic of the poorly executed text) he gives himself a wedgie.

In what seems like a veritable golden age of beginning readers, perhaps some things are better not published. Or read. (Early reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-93071-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 9, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2012

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A serene, feel-good outing with a cozy, old-fashioned feel.

CHIRRI & CHIRRA

From the Chirri & Chirra series

In this Japanese import, the first in a long-running series to appear in English, two girls ride bikes through a forest—with stops for clover-blossom tea and jam sandwiches.

It’s such a benign wood that Chirri and Chirra—depicted as a prim pair of identical twins with straight bob cuts—think nothing of sharing both a lunch spot and a nap beneath a tree with a bear and a rabbit. Moreover, at convenient spots along the way there is a forest cafe with a fox waiter plus “tables and chairs of all different size” to accommodate the diverse forest clientele, a bakery offering “bread in all different shapes and jam in all different colors,” and, just as the sun goes down, a forest hotel with similarly diverse keys and doors. That night a forest concert draws the girls and the hotel’s animal guests to their balconies to join in: “La-la-la, La-la-la. What a wonderful night in the forest!” Despite heavy doses of cute, the episode is saved from utter sappiness by the inclusive spirit of the forest stops and the delightfully unforced way that the girls offer greetings to a pair of honeybees at a tiny adjacent table in the cafe, show no anxiety at the spider dangling above their napping place, and generally accept their harmonious sylvan world as a safe and friendly place. Doi creates her illustrations with colored pencil, pastel, and crayon, crafting them to look like mid-20th-century lithographs.

A serene, feel-good outing with a cozy, old-fashioned feel. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-59270-199-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2016

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