Hard work, determination and practice do have their benefits; readers will hope to see Peepsqueak demonstrate this again in...

READ REVIEW

PEEPSQUEAK!

Clark’s debut introduces readers to a plucky little chick whose determination helps him achieve his dream, no matter how impossible it might seem.

From the moment he hatches, sporting a bright red shirt emblazoned with “P.S.,” Peepsqueak shows his individuality. While the other chicks take their time hatching, “[h]e was on the move!” His dreams set him apart, as well: He wants to fly more than anything. The farm animals all tell him he can’t, but that doesn’t stop him from trying. He launches himself off a stone wall, off a hill, even off a tower of other chicks. He spends all day jumping…and falling. But all this practice is not for naught—Old Gray Goose rewards Peepsqueak’s perseverance with a flight on his back, and the farm animals celebrate his ersatz success at finally flying. But Peepsqueak barely registers their congratulations; he is on the move again and this time his sights are set on the pond…. Young listeners are sure to add their own enthusiasm to readings as they join in on the many phrases that repeat throughout. Clark’s digitally colored tableaux make the most of the “flying” Peepsqueak and his soft grass landings. The other chicks express their own personalities with glasses, ties, hair ribbons and other accessories.

Hard work, determination and practice do have their benefits; readers will hope to see Peepsqueak demonstrate this again in future outings. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-207801-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2011

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Likely to be popular with young Pete the Cat fans and parents seeking a gentle introduction to preschool.

PETE THE KITTY'S FIRST DAY OF PRESCHOOL

From the Pete the Cat series

The popular character enjoys storytime, painting, and a snack on the very first day of preschool.

The younger incarnation of Pete the Cat packs his backpack that he picked out from the store himself, gets a snack from his mom, and rides the school bus with his big brother, Bob (who isn’t much bigger than Pete, sizewise). At school, Pete meets his stylish teacher, Mrs. Lopez, and fellow feline classmates while keeping his signature cool. The day ends with Pete declaring: “Preschool is awesome! Pete loves everything!” James Dean’s big-eyed cats populate the simply drawn scenes that look as though they were painted in preschool-esque fashion with thick swaths of tempera. At a couple of moments (when he eats his banana and declares it tasty and when he sings along) his customarily expressionless face actually breaks into a smile. Kimberly Dean’s text is uninspired, but it’s in sync with the upbeat tone of the series. Pete’s preschool experience, while not particularly realistic, is a highly positive one; refreshingly, there is no trace of the separation anxiety or anxiousness found in many first-day-of-school books.

Likely to be popular with young Pete the Cat fans and parents seeking a gentle introduction to preschool. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: June 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06243582-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HarperFestival

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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The gentle ending, with pony and friends cuddled up for bed, slows the trotting long enough— just the way a book for...

NONI THE PONY

Noni, friendly and funny, is the perfect pony for preschoolers.

Like Noni herself, the light rhyme, bustling with rhythm and easy to read, is friendly and funny. Lester’s art, which shows every apple, carrot, cow and hen she mentions in her text, invites new readers and horse-loving listeners to join Noni and her best friends, Dave Dog and Coco the Cat, in their play. Each couplet is accompanied by Lester’s droll illustrations. The animals appear humorously flat, almost as if Lester cut them out and glued them in by hand. The movements are exaggerated and at times remarkably unhorselike. The cover is especially amusing, showing Noni doing a split in midair. “They ambush each other and play hide-and-seek, / racing and chasing and jumping the creek,” is illustrated with arrows and dotted lines to show the movement of the animal friends, while subtle eye movements let the reader know exactly who is hiding from whom. The layout, just one couplet per spread with every word illustrated, is perfect for anxious youngsters who want to prance through stories over and over again but not linger too long on any page.

The gentle ending, with pony and friends cuddled up for bed, slows the trotting long enough— just the way a book for toddlers should end. Night-night, Noni. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 30, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4424-5959-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Aug. 8, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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