A sleepwalking child picks up an animal entourage—every night—in this winsome, circular debut.

When her annoyed mom wonders how her room came to be such a mess, Tippy can only shrug and speculate: “Maybe last night I walked out the door….” In a re-enactment that is also a new adventure, she passes over a dock, through a misty wood, down a deep hole, through a cactus patch and so back home. Along the way, she unconsciously collects a train of creatures, from a bee to a bear, that all make a new mess for her mother to discover in the morning. Interactions among the animals following her add small subplots and side actions: A frog pursues a bumblebee that’s always just out of tongue’s reach; a little mole falls in love with a bear that does not reciprocate. Dressed in a comfy gown and striped socks, Tippy strolls, climbs and drifts in smiling slumber through a succession of flat, sometimes-silhouetted scenes done in restful blues and grays. Occasional sound effects and comments in dialogue balloons furnish the text for her nightly ramble. A dreamy, slightly more visually sophisticated alternative to Peggy Rathmann’s Good Night, Gorilla (1994). (Graphic early reader. 4-6)


Pub Date: Feb. 11, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-9351-7957-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: TOON/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 11, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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Loewen’s story is a simple snapshot of kindergarten graduation day, and it stays true to form, with Yoshikawa’s artwork resembling photos that might be placed in an album—and the illustrations cheer, a mixed media of saturated color, remarkable depth and joyful expression. The author comfortably captures the hesitations of making the jump from kindergarten to first grade without making a fuss about it, and she makes the prospect something worth the effort. Trepidation aside, this is a reminder of how much fun kindergarten was: your own cubbyhole, the Halloween parade, losing a tooth, “the last time we’ll ever sit criss-cross applesauce together.” But there is also the fledgling’s pleasure at shucking off the past—swabbing the desks, tossing out the stubbiest crayons, taking the pictures off the wall—and surging into the future. Then there is graduation itself: donning the mortarboards, trooping into the auditorium—“Mr. Meyer starts playing a serious song on the piano. It makes me want to cry. It makes me want to march”—which will likely have a few adult readers feeling the same. (Picture book. 4-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7614-5807-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Review Posted Online: Jan. 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2011

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Fun, fun, fun all through the town!


This book’s gonna werk, werk, werk all through Pride Month and beyond.

Drag persona Lil Miss Hot Mess rewrites “The Wheels on the Bus” to create a fun, movement-filled, family-friendly celebration of drag. The text opens with the titular verse to establish the familiar song’s formulaic pattern: “The hips on the drag queen go SWISH, SWISH, SWISH… / ALL THROUGH THE TOWN!” Along the way, more and more drag queens join in the celebration. The unnamed queens proudly display a range of skin tones, sizes, and body modifications to create a diverse cast of realistic characters that could easily be spotted at a Pride event or on RuPaul’s Drag Race. The palette of both costumes and backgrounds is appropriately psychedelic, and there are plenty of jewels going “BLING, BLING, BLING.” Don’t tell the queens, but the flow is the book’s real star, because it encourages natural kinetic participation that will have groups of young readers giggling and miming along with the story. Libraries and bookshops hosting drag-queen storytimes will find this a popular choice, and those celebrating LGBTQ+ heritage will also find this a useful book for the pre-K crowd. Curious children unfamiliar with a drag queen may require a brief explanation, but the spectacle stands up just fine on its own platforms.

Fun, fun, fun all through the town! (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7624-6765-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Running Press Kids

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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