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THE MOOGEES MOVE HOUSE

Not so much bibliotherapy for families on the move as a quick burst of verbal foolery, tailor-made for reading aloud.

A picky family goes house hunting in this brief but intensely silly outing.

Papa and Mama Moogee, rendered in the cartoon illustrations as four-legged, egg-shaped, yellow creatures with oversized, spiral schnozzes, drive real estate agent Mr. Ruru (also a Moogee) in their wiener-shaped Moogeemobile from one prospective new house to the next. The first is “a great big blue house with large windows, eight chimneys, and a yukie-yukie tree loaded with yukie-yukie berries,” but Mama Moogee doesn’t like blue. Ugly statues adorn the second offering, and the next house looks exactly like a big wedge of cheese. At each rejection, the three young Moogees scream a page- (ultimately spread-) filling, child-audience–friendly chorus of “WAA WAA MOOGEE DOOGEE WEE WEE LOW LUM!” until the last house—round and pink and perfect in every way—earns a nod and Mr. Ruru’s understanding that the nonsense means “We’ll be happy anywhere / as long as we’ve got our family there!”

Not so much bibliotherapy for families on the move as a quick burst of verbal foolery, tailor-made for reading aloud. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7636-5558-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2012

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THERE'S A ROCK CONCERT IN MY BEDROOM

Nice enough but not worth repeat reads.

Emma deals with jitters before playing the guitar in the school talent show.

Pop musician Kevin Jonas and his wife, Danielle, put performance at the center of their picture-book debut. When Emma is intimidated by her very talented friends, the encouragement of her younger sister, Bella, and the support of her family help her to shine her own light. The story is straightforward and the moral familiar: Draw strength from your family and within to overcome your fears. Employing the performance-anxiety trope that’s been written many times over, the book plods along predictably—there’s nothing really new or surprising here. Dawson’s full-color digital illustrations center a White-presenting family along with Emma’s three friends of color: Jamila has tanned skin and wears a hijab; Wendy has dark brown skin and Afro puffs; and Luis has medium brown skin. Emma’s expressive eyes and face are the real draw of the artwork—from worry to embarrassment to joy, it’s clear what she’s feeling. A standout double-page spread depicts Emma’s talent show performance, with a rainbow swirl of music erupting from an amp and Emma rocking a glam outfit and electric guitar. Overall, the book reads pretty plainly, buoyed largely by the artwork. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Nice enough but not worth repeat reads. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 29, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-35207-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin

Review Posted Online: Feb. 8, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

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THE HUGASAURUS

Gently models kindness and respect—positive behavior that can be applied daily.

A group of young “dinosauruses” go out into the world on their own.

A fuchsia little Hugasaurus and her Pappysaur (both of whom resemble Triceratops) have never been apart before, but Hugasaurus happily heads off with lunchbox in hand and “wonder in her heart” to make new friends. The story has a first-day-of-school feeling, but Hugasaurus doesn’t end up in a formal school environment; rather, she finds herself on a playground with other little prehistoric creatures, though no teacher or adult seems to be around. At first, the new friends laugh and play. But Hugasaurus’ pals begin to squabble, and play comes to a halt. As she wonders what to do, a fuzzy platypus playmate asks some wise questions (“What…would your Pappy say to do? / What makes YOU feel better?”), and Hugasaurus decides to give everyone a hug—though she remembers to ask permission first. Slowly, good humor is restored and play begins anew with promises to be slow to anger and, in general, to help create a kinder world. Short rhyming verses occasionally use near rhyme but also include fun pairs like ripples and double-triples. Featuring cozy illustrations of brightly colored creatures, the tale sends a strong message about appropriate and inappropriate ways to resolve conflict, the final pages restating the lesson plainly in a refrain that could become a classroom motto. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Gently models kindness and respect—positive behavior that can be applied daily. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-338-82869-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2022

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