A sweet, compelling yarn that perfectly captures the archetypal childhood synthesis of fantasy and reality.

READ REVIEW

THE FOX WISH

Wishes come true in this story of an unexpected, interspecies friendship imported from Japan.

A light-skinned blonde girl and her little brother go to the park to find the jump-rope they left there earlier. As they approach a clearing in the wood, they come upon a group of baby foxes happily engaged in jumping rope. The foxes are singing a jumping rhyme; “Doxy, foxy, / touch the ground. / Doxy, foxy, / turn around. / Turn to the east, / and turn to the west, / and choose the one that / you like best.” Soon children and foxes are playing happily together. The little girl notices that her name, “Roxie” is painted on the handle of the rope. One of the foxes, also named Roxie, believes the rope is hers, assuming that the rope has come to her because she wished for it. The girl decides not to reclaim the rope, allowing the fox to believe her wish has come true. It’s a charming, unlikely tale, made appealing by Sakai’s sensitive artwork in lustrous acrylics and grease pencil, embellished with striking fine magenta ballpoint touches. The subtle coloration perfectly complements the simple language; the sky turns “peachy” as the sun sets, and the “light was golden and the air was warm” as the happy children run home. Although most American readers will miss the folkloric resonance Japanese readers will no doubt feel, that does not lessen in any way its impact.

A sweet, compelling yarn that perfectly captures the archetypal childhood synthesis of fantasy and reality. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4521-5188-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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Likely to be popular with young Pete the Cat fans and parents seeking a gentle introduction to preschool.

PETE THE KITTY'S FIRST DAY OF PRESCHOOL

From the Pete the Cat series

The popular character enjoys storytime, painting, and a snack on the very first day of preschool.

The younger incarnation of Pete the Cat packs his backpack that he picked out from the store himself, gets a snack from his mom, and rides the school bus with his big brother, Bob (who isn’t much bigger than Pete, sizewise). At school, Pete meets his stylish teacher, Mrs. Lopez, and fellow feline classmates while keeping his signature cool. The day ends with Pete declaring: “Preschool is awesome! Pete loves everything!” James Dean’s big-eyed cats populate the simply drawn scenes that look as though they were painted in preschool-esque fashion with thick swaths of tempera. At a couple of moments (when he eats his banana and declares it tasty and when he sings along) his customarily expressionless face actually breaks into a smile. Kimberly Dean’s text is uninspired, but it’s in sync with the upbeat tone of the series. Pete’s preschool experience, while not particularly realistic, is a highly positive one; refreshingly, there is no trace of the separation anxiety or anxiousness found in many first-day-of-school books.

Likely to be popular with young Pete the Cat fans and parents seeking a gentle introduction to preschool. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: June 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06243582-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HarperFestival

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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