The ingredients may be standard, but the recipe yields a fresh, new dish that’s outstanding in almost every way.


Standard Seeger ingredients of careful die-cuts, lush painting, and child-centered text combine in her latest picture book.

A striking cover shows a wide-eyed girl, her mouth agape, looking to the right and seeming to dread the book's opening. The title page doesn’t reveal what's scared her, increasing readers’ anticipation as the girl cowers behind a chair. Subsequent pages relate that she “used to be afraid of” spiders, shadows, and the dark; each fear is then followed by a double-page spread that resolves it with the line “but not anymore” and a picture that uses integral die-cuts to renegotiate the once-scary thing. For example, the scary spider is not-so-scary when the girl gazes in wonder at its web. Other, more abstract fears—of making a mistake, change, and being alone—are then articulated, deepening the emotional resonance of the character's experiences. Concluding spreads show her running from her big brother, who wears a scary mask. In a clever and honest twist, this fear isn't so easily resolved. "I used to be afraid of my big BROTHER / and I STILL AM!" she declares. Seeger saves the best for last, though, with the last page slyly adding "Sometimes" as the girl tries on the mask behind her unsuspecting brother, and then closing endpapers deliver a pleasing coda of sibling play.

The ingredients may be standard, but the recipe yields a fresh, new dish that’s outstanding in almost every way. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-59643-631-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Neal Porter/Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: Aug. 1, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2015

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Let these crayons go back into their box.


The Crayons return to celebrate Easter.

Six crayons (Red, Orange, Yellow, Esteban, who is green and wears a yellow cape, White, and Blue) each take a shape and scribble designs on it. Purple, perplexed and almost angry, keeps asking why no one is creating an egg, but the six friends have a great idea. They take the circle decorated with red shapes, the square adorned with orange squiggles “the color of the sun,” the triangle with yellow designs, also “the color of the sun” (a bit repetitious), a rectangle with green wavy lines, a white star, about which Purple remarks: “DID you even color it?” and a rhombus covered with blue markings and slap the shapes onto a big, light-brown egg. Then the conversation turns to hiding the large object in plain sight. The joke doesn’t really work, the shapes are not clear enough for a concept book, and though colors are delineated, it’s not a very original color book. There’s a bit of clever repartee. When Purple observe that Esteban’s green rectangle isn’t an egg, Esteban responds, “No, but MY GOSH LOOK how magnificent it is!” Still, that won’t save this lackluster book, which barely scratches the surface of Easter, whether secular or religious. The multimedia illustrations, done in the same style as the other series entries, are always fun, but perhaps it’s time to retire these anthropomorphic coloring implements. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Let these crayons go back into their box. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 7, 2023

ISBN: 978-0-593-62105-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2022

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A winning tale about finding new friends.


Bear finds a wonderful toy.

Bear clearly loves the toy bunny that he has found sitting up against a tree in the forest, but he wants to help it return to its home. With a wagon full of fliers and the bunny secure in Bear’s backpack, he festoons the trees with posters and checks out a bulletin board filled with lost and found objects (some of which will bring a chuckle to adult readers). Alas, he returns home still worried about bunny. The following day, they happily play together and ride Bear’s tricycle. Into the cozy little picture steps Moose, who immediately recognizes his bunny, named Floppy. Bear has a tear in his eye as he watches Moose and Floppy hug. But Moose, wearing a tie, is clearly grown and knows that it is time to share and that Bear will take very good care of his Floppy. Yoon’s story is sweet without being sentimental. She uses digitized artwork in saturated colors to create a lovely little world for her animals. They are outlined in strong black lines and stand out against the yellows, blues, greens and oranges of the background. She also uses space to great effect, allowing readers to feel the emotional tug of the story.

A winning tale about finding new friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8027-3559-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2014

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