A delicious outing for one and all.

THE GINGERBREAD MAN LOOSE AT THE ZOO

From the Gingerbread Man series

Back for a fourth adventure, this smart cookie cavorts across the zoo, where many animals are ready for a nibble.

The Gingerbread Man’s class is on a field trip. The teacher has prepared a scavenger hunt of riddles to lead them to many different animals in the zoo. The first one poses: “I’m spotted. I’m gentle. / I’m tall as a tree. A branch full of leaves is / the best snack for me. / I have a new baby, / and she is my calf.” “AH-HA!” the class shouts; the answer is…(dramatic page turn included)…“GIRAFFE!” But just when the Gingerbread Man is about to read the next clue, the giraffe’s long tongue curls around him and lifts him up for a quick munch. The class goes on ahead, leaving the cookie in peril. Luckily he escapes, but the class is long gone. He must answer the rest of the riddles in order to find them. Alas, Murray only includes two more full riddles for readers to guess (plus an extra, non–zoo-related one at the end), but he does mention the many animals that the Gingerbread Man finds…even a certain sly fox, which the cookie instinctively knows to avoid. Lowery has always been careful to incorporate many races and ethnicities; this adventure does not stray from that practice.

A delicious outing for one and all. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 23, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-399-16867-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Cute but not substantive, and the wording may be off-putting.

YOU MAKE ME HAPPY

Fox and Porcupine celebrate the many ways they enjoy each other.

“You make me happy, / like birds taking flight, / like a waterfall twinkling, / like morning’s first light. // The things that you do, and the things that you say, / fill me with sunshine and brighten my day.” Throughout the seasons, readers are treated to a look at all the lovely times the duo have. Even when the text hints that one is feeling down and the other is cheering them on, the acrylic-paint–and–colored-pencil artwork shows both feeling glad, demanding that readers guess which might have been sad. That’s not the only thing readers will have to guess either. It’s unclear whether this relationship is friendly, romantic, or familial; at times the text and illustrations make it seem as though it could be any of these. And the first-person narrator is also never identified. The idea is certainly sweet, the roly-poly pair are delightfully expressive and adorable, and the sentiments expressed are those caregivers appreciate and celebrate in their children. Still, the wording may cause adults to cringe, especially those trained in psychology and like subjects that emphasize that confidence and well-being do not rest on externalities: “You make me happy and hopeful and strong.”

Cute but not substantive, and the wording may be off-putting. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68119-849-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together.

HEY, DUCK!

A clueless duckling tries to make a new friend.

He is confused by this peculiar-looking duck, who has a long tail, doesn’t waddle and likes to be alone. No matter how explicitly the creature denies he is a duck and announces that he is a cat, the duckling refuses to acknowledge the facts.  When this creature expresses complete lack of interest in playing puddle stomp, the little ducking goes off and plays on his own. But the cat is not without remorse for rejecting an offered friendship. Of course it all ends happily, with the two new friends enjoying each other’s company. Bramsen employs brief sentences and the simplest of rhymes to tell this slight tale. The two heroes are meticulously drawn with endearing, expressive faces and body language, and their feathers and fur appear textured and touchable. Even the detailed tree bark and grass seem three-dimensional. There are single- and double-page spreads, panels surrounded by white space and circular and oval frames, all in a variety of eye-pleasing juxtapositions. While the initial appeal is solidly visual, young readers will get the gentle message that friendship is not something to take for granted but is to be embraced with open arms—or paws and webbed feet.

A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-375-86990-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more