A delightful friendship story that children can relate to, as either Pammy or Wyatt.


Sharing is tough, but taking turns can be even tougher.

Pammy and Wyatt are besties and hang out every day. However, Pammy seems to be having all the fun. “Wyatt and I love parades. I’m always the queen,” says Pammy as Wyatt pulls her along in a red wagon. When Wyatt wants a turn, Pammy moves on to the swing. “Wyatt loves to push me,” says Pammy as she goes higher and higher. Wyatt pleads for a push too, but Pammy decides to play school instead. “Wyatt likes it when I’m the teacher.” Or so she thinks. Wyatt is tired of playing by Pammy’s rules and protests, “Now it’s MY TURN to be the teacher!” When Pammy still refuses to give him a turn, Wyatt stomps off. “I’m not playing with you anymore!” Pammy ends up playing with her brother, Eddie, who teaches her a new game with one simple rule: “You shoot baskets until you miss one.” After Eddie shoots 67 straight baskets, Pammy has had enough. Then she realizes “it’s no fun to never get a turn” and makes things right with Wyatt. Rankin’s choice of two different anthropomorphic animals, a lamb for Pammy and a goat for Wyatt, is a subtle way to depict diversity. Rankin brings her expressive characters to life in believable scenarios and detailed mixed-media illustrations.

A delightful friendship story that children can relate to, as either Pammy or Wyatt. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 8, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-59990-174-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2016

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Both beautiful and inspiring as graduation gift or guide to life.

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An inspirational picture book offers life advice for readers who want to be themselves.

Replete with sparkling, often quirky illustrations of children living their best lives, this book is a gorgeous guidebook for those seeking encouragement while encountering life’s challenges. The children featured—a racially diverse group ranging from infants to preschoolers—cheerfully navigate the various injunctions that flow through the text: “Be curious.…Be adventurous.…Be persistent.…Be kind.” What is remarkable about the book is that even though the instructions and the brief sentences explaining them are at times vague, the illustrations expand on them in ways readers will find endearing and uplifting. Those depicting painful or challenging moments are especially effective. The “Be persistent” double-page spread shows a child in a boat on stormy seas; it’s rich with deep blues as it emphasizes the energy of wind and rain and struggle in the face of challenge. Together with the accompanying repeated phrase “Keep going, never stop. Keep going, never stop. Keep going, never stop,” this spread arrests readers. By contrast, the “Be kind. Be understanding” spread simply presents two children’s faces, one cast in blue and the other in gold, but the empathy that Reynolds conveys is similarly captivating. While there is no plot to pull readers through the pages, the book provides rich fodder for caregivers to use as teachable moments, both informally and in classroom settings.

Both beautiful and inspiring as graduation gift or guide to life. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-57231-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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


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

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