Delightfully funny, with much verve and style—but please don’t feed the bears.

DON'T FEED THE BEAR

In this children’s picture book, a park ranger and a bear each warn tourists not to feed the other.

Portly, brown Bear lives in a park and loves campers’ leftovers. So when he discovers the park ranger installing a sign that reads “DON’T FEED THE BEAR,” he’s displeased and puts up his own: “DON’T FEED THE RANGER.” As a result, campers with pie, ice cream, and soda feed neither one. Bear craftily disguises himself in a cap and T-shirt that claim that he’s “not a bear.” But it doesn’t work, leading to a “war with words” as bear and ranger repeatedly vandalize each other’s signs with spray paint, markers, and brushes. They finally come to an understanding, however, and revise the signs to encourage visitors to feed them both. Together, they enjoy a delicious picnic of campers’ “goodies.” In her debut, Doherty tells an amusing story with good sound effects (“SMACKITY! SMACK! WHOMP!”) and vivid, compressed sentences perfect for reading aloud. Children will certainly appreciate the characters’ love of treats. Wass’ (Monster Knows Shapes, 2014, etc.) stylish, retro-feeling illustrations hilariously capture action and character, such as Bear’s angry yet lovable stomping. However, kids should know that feeding wild animals is bad for them and can result in fines or jail sentences.

Delightfully funny, with much verve and style—but please don’t feed the bears.

Pub Date: April 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4549-1979-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: April 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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A perfect story to enjoy on a “no bones day.”

NOODLE AND THE NO BONES DAY

Graziano tells the story of his TikTok-famous pug, Noodle.

Noodle is a silly, stubborn old pug who likes walks and snacks. “He’s a pug who knows what he wants.” Jonathan, his light-skinned owner, loves taking Noodle for walks and sharing snacks—they are a perfect pair. But one day, when it’s time for a walk, Noodle just lies in his dog bed. Even when Jonathan tries to make Noodle sit up, Noodle flops back down. “It’s like he doesn’t have bones!” says Jonathan. Noodle doesn’t seem sick—he just wants snacks and to stay in bed. Finally, Jonathan asks if Noodle would just like to snuggle instead and receives a strong affirmative from the drowsy pug. Together Noodle and his human enjoy a relaxing “no bones day” and learn an important lesson about rest and why it matters for silly, stubborn old pugs and for the humans who love them, too. Many may already be familiar with Noodle through his TikTok videos (if Noodle remains standing when Graziano lifts him, it’s a “bones day”; among Noodle’s followers, a “no bones day” has come to mean a day for self-care and taking it easy). However, this story stands alone and will likely create new fans for a long time to come. Hand-drawn and painted digitally, Tavis’ illustrations rely on a muted palette and rounded images, depicting an appropriately cozy world. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A perfect story to enjoy on a “no bones day.” (author's note) (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 7, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66592-710-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2022

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An unabashed love letter from mother.

I LOVE YOU, LITTLE POOKIE

From the Little Pookie series

A sweet celebration of the bond between a mother and her Pookie.

The eighth installment in this always charming series eschews the episodic drama and silliness of earlier outing such as Spooky Pookie (2015) in favor of a mom’s-eye-view celebration of her child and the time they spend together. There is, of course, nothing wrong with drama and silliness. But while the lack of conflict and plot in favor of unapologetic sentiment makes this book a quick read, that doesn’t make it any less endearing. The rhymed verse captures a mother’s wonder as she observes the many facets of her child’s personality: “Ah, Pookie. My little one. My funny one. My child. // Sometimes you are quiet. Sometimes you are wild.” On the simple joys of shared moments, she notes, “I love to go walking with you by my side. / I love when we sing when we go for a ride. // And I love just to watch as you think and you play. / The way that you are is a wonderful way.” Paired with author/illustrator Boynton’s irresistible renderings of a porcine mommy and her playful, snuggly little piglet, the result is impossible to fault. Whether quietly reading, running in a tiger suit, singing with mom in the car, ears flapping in the breeze, or enjoying the safety of mom’s embrace, Pookie’s appeal continues unabated.

An unabashed love letter from mother. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5344-3723-4

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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