Inventive, animated and irresistible.

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COOKIEBOT!

A HARRY AND HORSIE ADVENTURE

Harry and Horsie return to battle a giant, cookie-eating robot in this winning tale that will satisfy sweet tooth and thrill-seeker alike.

Somewhere in the universe, two tummies are growling. Only cookies will satiate the ebullient Harry and his toy pal, Horsie. But in order to reach the cookie jar, the two must create the ultimate cookie-getter. A mechanical feat of colossal proportions, CookieBot marches through their metropolis, grabbing cookies from high-rises; but like Godzilla and King Kong, CookieBot goes mad. Down Fifth Avenue he stomps, gobbling confections and climbing skyscrapers until it looks like the city might face the ultimate catastrophe: no more cookies! An epic battle ensues—complete with one big sugar crash—as the heroes leave a happy (and full) public to return home and play another day. Agnew’s fantastical, retro-futuristic artwork propels this spirited adventure. Stylistically he’s true to the title’s predecessor, Harry and Horsie (2009), but compositionally he deftly changes genres, moving from a Flash Gordon–esque, sci-fi–serial approach that highlights sequential images to finding inspiration in classic, monster fantasy movies. Iconic splash pages capture the scope of Harry’s spirited imagination, while detailed illustrations offer clever, hidden humor. Once again, friendship rules for Harry and Horsie; and for Van Camp and Agnew, their seemingly seamless collaboration perfectly tells the story.

Inventive, animated and irresistible. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-06-197445-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2011

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Watching unlikely friends finally be as “happy as two someones can be” feels like being enveloped in your very own hug.

THE HUG

What to do when you’re a prickly animal hankering for a hug? Why, find another misfit animal also searching for an embrace!

Sweet but “tricky to hug” little Hedgehog is down in the dumps. Wandering the forest, Hedgehog begs different animals for hugs, but each rejects them. Readers will giggle at their panicked excuses—an evasive squirrel must suddenly count its three measly acorns; a magpie begins a drawn-out song—but will also be indignant on poor hedgehog’s behalf. Hedgehog has the appealingly pink-cheeked softness typical of Dunbar’s art, and the gentle watercolors are nonthreatening, though she also captures the animals’ genuine concern about being poked. A wise owl counsels the dejected hedgehog that while the prickles may frighten some, “there’s someone for everyone.” That’s when Hedgehog spots a similarly lonely tortoise, rejected due to its “very hard” shell but perfectly matched for a spiky new friend. They race toward each other until the glorious meeting, marked with swoony peach swirls and overjoyed grins. At this point, readers flip the book to hear the same gloomy tale from the tortoise’s perspective until it again culminates in that joyous hug, a book turn that’s made a pleasure with thick creamy paper and solid binding.

Watching unlikely friends finally be as “happy as two someones can be” feels like being enveloped in your very own hug. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-571-34875-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Faber & Faber

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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It’s slight on story, but there is an abundance of shimmery glitter. And, of course, pink.

TWINKLE THINKS PINK!

Reminiscent of another rosy-hue–loving protagonist, Twinkle can’t get enough of the color pink.

Twinkle and her friends are invited to a garden party hosted by Fairy Godmother at the royal palace. It promises beautiful roses, which are the talk of the town. Twinkle, along with fairy friends Pippa and Lulu, can’t resist sneaking a peek before the party begins. The roses are all the colors of the rainbow. It looks divine, but Pippa can’t help but muse, “What a shame there aren’t more pink ones.” That’s all the encouragement Twinkle needs. She waves her wand, and (after a few missteps) suddenly everything in the garden is pink, right down to a winged rabbit onlooker and a shocked owl. Poor Twinkle still doesn’t have a handle on spell-casting. Have they ruined the garden party for everyone? The fuel for Holabird’s impetuous heroine’s fluttering is excitement rather than common sense. But she does confess to Fairy Godmother and admit her mistake. Warburton’s intricately inked illustrations provide enough fairy magic (tiny fruit houses with even tinier doors, a poodle with gossamer wings) to have readers poring over the details. The fairies present mostly white (other friends are shown on the endpapers), with only black-presenting Pippa providing diversity.

It’s slight on story, but there is an abundance of shimmery glitter. And, of course, pink. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-2917-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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