Kids who are ill here on Earth may be entertained by this look at one alien’s cold and his family’s attempts to make him...

ALIENS GET THE SNIFFLES TOO! AHHH-CHOO!

Think you have a bad cold? How much worse would it be if your anatomy included two throats, three noses, and five ears?!

Little Alien’s parents and pet try to help him feel better in ways that will seem both familiar and out-of-this-world to earthling readers. When his son’s throats are sore, Daddy Alien zooms off in his spaceship and returns with a Milky Way milkshake. “Granny Alien’s Famous Shooting-Star Ear Drops” are just the ticket for earaches. And when Little Alien complains of his stuffy noses, Daddy Alien calls in the “lunar decongestants,” a trio of little green creatures who carry what might be construed as instruments of torture, especially considering the reactions of Little Alien and Mars Rover. A cool meteor shower for his fever and a settling into bed, and all seems set for sleep…except for the sneeze. Mars Rover can’t take seeing his friend so sick, and so he pulls out all the stops to make Little Alien feel better. Campbell’s pen, watercolor, and colored pencil illustrations keep the focus on the central action, though there are enough tantalizing details of the alien world to whet readers’ appetites. Mama Alien is pink, Daddy’s blue, and their son is green. All are expressive.

Kids who are ill here on Earth may be entertained by this look at one alien’s cold and his family’s attempts to make him feel better. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6502-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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PIRATES DON'T TAKE BATHS

Echoes of Runaway Bunny color this exchange between a bath-averse piglet and his patient mother. Using a strategy that would probably be a nonstarter in real life, the mother deflects her stubborn offspring’s string of bath-free occupational conceits with appeals to reason: “Pirates NEVER EVER take baths!” “Pirates don’t get seasick either. But you do.” “Yeesh. I’m an astronaut, okay?” “Well, it is hard to bathe in zero gravity. It’s hard to poop and pee in zero gravity too!” And so on, until Mom’s enticing promise of treasure in the deep sea persuades her little Treasure Hunter to take a dive. Chunky figures surrounded by lots of bright white space in Segal’s minimally detailed watercolors keep the visuals as simple as the plotline. The language isn’t quite as basic, though, and as it rendered entirely in dialogue—Mother Pig’s lines are italicized—adult readers will have to work hard at their vocal characterizations for it to make any sense. Moreover, younger audiences (any audiences, come to that) may wonder what the piggy’s watery closing “EUREKA!!!” is all about too. Not particularly persuasive, but this might coax a few young porkers to get their trotters into the tub. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25425-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2011

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Whether they’re counting scores of peas, enjoying the rhymes and puns or relishing the funny visual quirks, families are...

1-2-3 PEAS

After an alphabetical, rhyming tour de force (LMNO Peas, 2010), Baker’s energetic pea pack is back—this time, to count by ones and 10s.

Baker sidesteps the trickiness of rhyming the numerals by selecting a repeating word for each short verse. “ONE pea searching—look, look, look, / TWO peas fishing—hook, hook, hook.” Those numerals rise sky-high (to peas, at least) to dominate the digitally composed visuals, often serving as props for the frenzy of vegetative activity. At “TEN peas building—pound, pound, pound,” the peas erect a wooden platform around the numeral—mainly, it would seem, as an excuse for exuberantly hammering dozens of nails. Baker circumvents those oft-pesky ’teens in one deft double-page spread: “Eleven to nineteen—skip, skip, skip!” Then it’s a double-page spread per decade, with peas traveling, napping, watching fireworks and more. “SEVENTY peas singing” provide a bevy of details to spy: A fab foursome (the Peatles) rocks out above a chorus and director. Nearby, a barbershop quartet, a Wagnerian soloist, a showering pea and a dancing “Peayoncé” add to the fun. 

Whether they’re counting scores of peas, enjoying the rhymes and puns or relishing the funny visual quirks, families are sure to devour Baker’s latest winner. Totally ap-pea-ling! (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: July 24, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4424-4551-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 30, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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