Minimal, moving and adorable, little Squish makes a big impression.

READ REVIEW

SQUISH RABBIT

Squish Rabbit spends his little life overlooked, unheard and occasionally stepped on (thus, his name). He needs a friend.

The simple narration tells Squish's story (abetted by his rebus-like pictorial speech bubbles), but the pictures do the heavy lifting. Solid black lines carve out the simplest, flattest rabbit figure imaginable, but somehow Squish’s deficit of dimensionality describes his huge heart and deep loneliness. His ears look a lot like his arms and legs, rounded-off extremities, while Squish’s tiny irregular eyes (one’s bigger than the other) miraculously convey a range of nuanced expressions. Children will certainly register his rage during a tantrum; Squish’s eyes squint, and his flailing, stumpy legs stomp and kick. Battersby’s expert, ample distribution of white space provides room on each page for readers to luxuriate in her impressive, evocative ink, watercolor and collage illustrations—and to absorb a small rabbit’s feelings. Rough papers and textured fabrics add depth, creating an almost tactile reading experience. When Squish and a new, real squirrel friend first make eye contact, however, they do it across an entirely white double-page spread that throbs with both suspense and hope. A face-to-face close up, revealing two sets of dissimilar eyes, seals the friendship.

Minimal, moving and adorable, little Squish makes a big impression. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-670-01267-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: June 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2011

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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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Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection.

DADDIES ARE AWESOME

Puppies celebrate the many ways their dads are awesome.

“Daddies are playful. / They swing you around. // You ride on their shoulders / or hang upside down.” The first spread pictures a scruffy pup, mouth clamped on its dad’s tail, hanging. The second features a long dachshund, his four pups using the large expanse of his back as a jungle gym or resting spot. The husky dad is labeled as daring, brave, and strong, while the hound takes his pup on adventures (digging and hiding under a bush). Other dog dads give kisses and tickles, tell bedtime stories and help count sheep (a stuffed toy), and help their pups grow (challenging them with stairs and carrying them when the going gets tough). Lovšin creatively interprets some of the text that applies well to kids but not so well to canines: dad and pup at each end of a long stick held in their mouths is the dog equivalent of holding hands. Though many dog breeds will be familiar, some are just mutts, though all are shown caring for and enjoying the company of their offspring. White backgrounds keep the focus on the dogs.

Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 17, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62779-452-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2016

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