IT'S A BIG WORLD, LITTLE PIG!

It's another sweet confection, with nary a mention of winning or losing—for those who like their international encounters on...

An invitation to the “World Games” leads to international friendships for the porky little skating star introduced in Dream Big, Little Pig (2011).

Though Paris is far away from New Pork City, little Poppy quickly loses her initial anxiety at being among strangers from many countries. As her BF Emma puts it: “everyone smiles in the same language!” In no time, she’s hooked up with a snowboarder from China (“Ni hao”) and found common ground with an Italian skier in the music of Poochini (“Buona fortuna!”). She discusses costume design with a fellow skater from Japan (“Ganbatte kudasai”), then gives a nervous Aussie speed skater a pep talk (parting with a “hooroo!”). Promoting the proper air of bright bonhomie, Bowers dresses a diverse cast of happy-looking, big-headed animals in sportswear or casual clothing and leaves the airy backgrounds either blank or lightly traced with arabesques and swooping curves. Finally, having “skated from her heart” in the competition, Poppy joins her proud parents for a week of French food (laying off the charcuterie, one hopes), sightseeing and sending postcards.

It's another sweet confection, with nary a mention of winning or losing—for those who like their international encounters on the bland side. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 6, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4022-6644-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks

Review Posted Online: Feb. 4, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2012

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

JOSÉ AND EL PERRO

Cuándo quieras un perro feliz, look no further.

A young Latine boy finally gets to rescue the dog of his dreams, but training can be a challenge in two languages.

Like many children, José has been dreaming of having a pet of his own, specifically un perro, a dog. Like any good owner, José promptly begins training his new canine companion but soon realizes his rescue mutt, Feliz, knows only words in English. This is a problem because in José’s home everyone speaks both Spanish and English. José and Feliz must rise to the challenge; fortunately, treats and snuggles are great motivators. The narrative uses Spanish words and phrases throughout (“perros blancos,” “¡Yo quiero este!” “¡Sientate!”), usually with English context clues for understanding. This is complex vocabulary for an early reader, and the shifting in phonics from English to Spanish will be challenging for true beginners; the book is best suited for intermediate to advanced readers in dual-language classrooms or homes. Much like Feliz, however, it is sure to find a loving (and bilingual) home. Cheerful illustrations complement the text, helping readers make sense of the narrative. While José and his mother are darker-skinned, his father and sister are lighter-skinned. (This review has been updated for accuracy.)

Cuándo quieras un perro feliz, look no further. (glossary of Spanish-English words) (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: April 25, 2023

ISBN: 978-0-593-52116-8

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2023

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