HURRY! HURRY! HAVE YOU HEARD?

Have you heard? Notable new Nativity stories are hard to find, but this satisfying effort from two talented pros will please both younger children and the adults reading to them. The short, rhyming text offers polished verses with just four lines per page or spread, with a bouncy rhythm and perfect rhyming pairs. The story begins with the discovery by three kittens and a chickadee of a special baby, lying on straw in a stable. The bird flies off to tell the other animals to hurry over to see the new baby, and in turn more creatures of all sorts march along through the snow to meet the baby. After their loud welcoming noises, the unnamed mother sings a lullaby to soothe her baby, and the calm, pleasing ending to the story shows the baby, all the animals and even the blue-robed mother sound asleep. Young readers will delight in noticing that the three kittens are wearing striped mittens and that the slow tortoise bringing up the rear of a line of animals is preceded by a quick-footed hare. Kids will be in a hurry to hear it again. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-8118-4225-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Chronicle

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2008

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FROGGY GOES TO SCHOOL

Froggy's back (Froggy Learns to Swim, 1995, etc.) and on his first day of school, he wakes up late and goes to class in his underwear! No, that's only a dream—Froggy's parents wake him up just in time and they have breakfast together before leapfrogging to the bus stop. At school, Froggy gets a name tag, falls off his chair, and teaches the class—and the teacher—and the principal- -how to swim, an act that includes singing ``Bubble bubble, toot toot. Chicken, airplane, soldier.'' When his parents pick him up at the bus stop at the end of the day, they discover that he has forgotten his lunch box in school. `` `Oh, Froggy. Will you ever learn?' said his mother. `That's why I'm going to school, Mom!' '' The accessible writing has plenty of gratifying opportunities for funny sounds when read out loud, and is also endearingly wry: ``He liked his name. It was the first word he knew how to read. It was the only word he knew how to read.'' Remkiewicz's bright watercolors feature punchy, bouncy, bug-eyed animals wearing emphatically exaggerated expressions: This bunch is easy to love. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-670-86726-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1996

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Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original...

A KISSING HAND FOR CHESTER RACCOON

From the Kissing Hand series

A sweetened, condensed version of the best-selling picture book, The Kissing Hand.

As in the original, Chester Raccoon is nervous about attending Owl’s night school (raccoons are nocturnal). His mom kisses him on the paw and reminds him, “With a Kissing Hand… / We’ll never be apart.” The text boils the story down to its key elements, causing this version to feel rushed. Gone is the list of fun things Chester will get to do at school. Fans of the original may be disappointed that this board edition uses a different illustrator. Gibson’s work is equally sentimental, but her renderings are stiff and flat in comparison to the watercolors of Harper and Leak. Very young readers will probably not understand that Owl’s tree, filled with opossums, a squirrel, a chipmunk and others, is supposed to be a school.

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original shouldn’t look to this version as replacement for their page-worn copies. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-933718-77-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Tanglewood Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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