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

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Yes, the Pigeon has to go to school, and so do readers, and this book will surely ease the way.

THE PIGEON HAS TO GO TO SCHOOL!

From the Pigeon series

All the typical worries and excuses kids have about school are filtered through Willems’ hysterical, bus-loving Pigeon.

Told mostly in speech balloons, the bird’s monologue will have kids (and their caregivers) in stitches at Pigeon’s excuses. From already knowing everything (except whatever question readers choose to provide in response to “Go ahead—ask me a question. / Any question!”) to fearing learning too much (“My head might pop off”), Pigeon’s imagination has run wild. Readers familiar with Pigeon will recognize the muted, matte backgrounds that show off the bird’s shenanigans so well. As in previous outings, Willems varies the size of the pigeon on the page to help communicate emotion, the bird teeny small on the double-page spread that illustrates the confession that “I’m… / scared.” And Pigeon’s eight-box rant about all the perils of school (“The unknown stresses me out, dude”) is marvelously followed by the realization (complete with lightbulb thought bubble) that school is the place for students to practice, with experts, all those skills they don’t yet have. But it is the ending that is so Willems, so Pigeon, and so perfect. Pigeon’s last question is “Well, HOW am I supposed to get there, anyway!?!” Readers will readily guess both the answer and Pigeon’s reaction.

Yes, the Pigeon has to go to school, and so do readers, and this book will surely ease the way. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-368-04645-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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A cozy read for bibliophiles.

SNOWMAN'S STORY

With echoes of “Frosty the Snowman” in the background, a snowman’s storybook within this wordless book delivers a comic wintertime romp.

Woodland creatures build a snowman, giving him a green book as a finishing touch. This addition comes right after a windswept top hat lands on his head, vivifying him à la Frosty. Hidden inside is a rabbit (it is a magic hat, after all); attentive readers will have seen the hat first on frontmatter pages and then with the bunny in the double-page spreads before the early ones devoted to the snowman’s construction. The snowman reads his book aloud to the animals, with the rabbit surreptitiously listening in, its ears poking out of the top of the hat. When the others all drift off to sleep, the bunny emerges and steals away with the book. A chase ensues across snowy terrain and through a series of pages (perhaps a few too many for good pacing) replete with comic-style panels. When the animals and snowman confront the rabbit in its tree-hollow home, its motivation for book thievery is revealed: This bunny has a family and wishes to share the story with its children. All’s well that ends well, and the animals convene (safely outside and away from the rabbit family’s crackling fireplace) to read together.

A cozy read for bibliophiles. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4778-4787-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Oct. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2014

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