While young readers will welcome Peepsqueak back, parents may miss the emphasis on hard work and practice that made him such...

PEEPSQUEAK WANTS A FRIEND!

In his second outing, Peepsqueak remains the same plucky and determined chick, but this tale lacks that certain something that made the first special. 

At the end of Peepsqueak’s eponymous “flying” adventure (2012), his eyes were fixed upon the pond, but Clark fails to take up that thread. On this particular sunny day, the baby chicks go out into the barnyard to play two by two, but poor Peepsqueak doesn’t have a partner. Undaunted, he simply goes into the woods to find a buddy. Warnings from several pairs of animals do not faze him, as he chirrups his catchy refrain: “You are 2 but I am 1; / my search for a friend has just begun.” The huge footprints Peepsqueak follows and the cave at the end of his search are clues as to the friend he will find and bring back to the barnyard. But Peepsqeak’s triumphant proclamation—“Friends don’t just come in 2s. / Real friends make room for all!”—may make readers wonder why Peepsqueak had to search for a friend—he already had six. The digitally colored artwork emphasizes the individuality of each chick, while the bright colors and adorable animals are sure to capture and hold readers’ attention as they follow Peepsqueak’s bouncing, dotted-line trail through the forest. The text changes type, font and color, calling readers’ eyes to it, as well.

While young readers will welcome Peepsqueak back, parents may miss the emphasis on hard work and practice that made him such a standout character. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-207804-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2013

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This ambitious, interactive exploration of color will be of particular appeal to dog lovers.

COLOR DOG

A chunky board book about colors features photographs of dogs and incorporates many interactive elements.

Even the front cover of this title is interactive. Pull a large red tab, and a bulldog’s head moves back and forth as he chews on the shoelace of a red tennis shoe. Inside, further interactive features, rhyming text, and illustrations featuring cute pups and their adorable antics await. For example, the orange pages offer a collage of pumpkins, autumn foliage, puppies, and a cat, reading: “Orange the patch of pumpkins, / Orange the autumn leaves, / Orange the frumpy, napping cat… / that I chase up a tree.” One of the pumpkins is a flap that conceals the face of a precious pup, and another, larger flap hides a pop-up tree branch on which an orange kitty perches. Other pages incorporate some more noxious surprises, such as: “Green the swamp I love to swim in, / Green the summer grass, / Green the color of the air… / when my dog food gives me gas.” Pull the tab here to trigger a large green cloud that emanates from the back end of a suitably embarrassed-looking basset hound.

This ambitious, interactive exploration of color will be of particular appeal to dog lovers. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4814-4986-1

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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