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 25, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2016


Safe to creep on by.

Carle’s famous caterpillar expresses its love.

In three sentences that stretch out over most of the book’s 32 pages, the (here, at least) not-so-ravenous larva first describes the object of its love, then describes how that loved one makes it feel before concluding, “That’s why… / I[heart]U.” There is little original in either visual or textual content, much of it mined from The Very Hungry Caterpillar. “You are… / …so sweet,” proclaims the caterpillar as it crawls through the hole it’s munched in a strawberry; “…the cherry on my cake,” it says as it perches on the familiar square of chocolate cake; “…the apple of my eye,” it announces as it emerges from an apple. Images familiar from other works join the smiling sun that shone down on the caterpillar as it delivers assurances that “you make… / …the sun shine brighter / …the stars sparkle,” and so on. The book is small, only 7 inches high and 5 ¾ inches across when closed—probably not coincidentally about the size of a greeting card. While generations of children have grown up with the ravenous caterpillar, this collection of Carle imagery and platitudinous sentiment has little of his classic’s charm. The melding of Carle’s caterpillar with Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE on the book’s cover, alas, draws further attention to its derivative nature.

Safe to creep on by. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-448-48932-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2021


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. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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