Sublime.

READ REVIEW

KOKO AND BO

From the Koko & Bo series

Two people, one big and one small, negotiate a relationship in this Swedish import.

Little Koko has long yellow hair and is a frequent user of the expression, “I DON’T WANT TO!” Large Bo, who might be elderly, has very little hair and wears thin wire-rim glasses. Their story unfolds in a series of snapshot moments, text on the left-hand page describing the exchange illustrated on the right. They’ve been at the playground for four hours when Bo declares that it’s time to go. Koko says no. Bo calmly responds, “Don’t then,” and leaves. After Koko returns home (“It was boring staying out alone”), the duo eats bedtime snacks and does crossword puzzles together. Koko puts up a fuss over bedtime, but Bo is unperturbed. The next day, Koko’s resistance pops up over getting out of bed, finishing breakfast, and riding on their bicycle to the store to buy groceries. Koko tries to steal some marshmallows, and when Bo insists that they be returned, Koko refuses. Bo, who lets the store guards deal with Koko, has already purchased some marshmallows for later. Stern Bo’s deep love is shown through actions. Adbåge’s pictures are square and simple, depicting both Koko and Bo with pale, pinkish skin. No gender is given to Koko, and, until the book’s end, readers might assume that Bo, in pink, patterned top and full red slacks and purse, is female. Adbåge assigns Bo a “his” near book’s end. This, and the author’s choice to present life without lecturing, shows uncommon respect for her readers.

Sublime. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-59270-258-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together.

HEY, DUCK!

A clueless duckling tries to make a new friend.

He is confused by this peculiar-looking duck, who has a long tail, doesn’t waddle and likes to be alone. No matter how explicitly the creature denies he is a duck and announces that he is a cat, the duckling refuses to acknowledge the facts.  When this creature expresses complete lack of interest in playing puddle stomp, the little ducking goes off and plays on his own. But the cat is not without remorse for rejecting an offered friendship. Of course it all ends happily, with the two new friends enjoying each other’s company. Bramsen employs brief sentences and the simplest of rhymes to tell this slight tale. The two heroes are meticulously drawn with endearing, expressive faces and body language, and their feathers and fur appear textured and touchable. Even the detailed tree bark and grass seem three-dimensional. There are single- and double-page spreads, panels surrounded by white space and circular and oval frames, all in a variety of eye-pleasing juxtapositions. While the initial appeal is solidly visual, young readers will get the gentle message that friendship is not something to take for granted but is to be embraced with open arms—or paws and webbed feet.

A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-375-86990-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Both beautiful and inspiring as graduation gift or guide to life.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

BE YOU!

An inspirational picture book offers life advice for readers who want to be themselves.

Replete with sparkling, often quirky illustrations of children living their best lives, this book is a gorgeous guidebook for those seeking encouragement while encountering life’s challenges. The children featured—a racially diverse group ranging from infants to preschoolers—cheerfully navigate the various injunctions that flow through the text: “Be curious.…Be adventurous.…Be persistent.…Be kind.” What is remarkable about the book is that even though the instructions and the brief sentences explaining them are at times vague, the illustrations expand on them in ways readers will find endearing and uplifting. Those depicting painful or challenging moments are especially effective. The “Be persistent” double-page spread shows a child in a boat on stormy seas; it’s rich with deep blues as it emphasizes the energy of wind and rain and struggle in the face of challenge. Together with the accompanying repeated phrase “Keep going, never stop. Keep going, never stop. Keep going, never stop,” this spread arrests readers. By contrast, the “Be kind. Be understanding” spread simply presents two children’s faces, one cast in blue and the other in gold, but the empathy that Reynolds conveys is similarly captivating. While there is no plot to pull readers through the pages, the book provides rich fodder for caregivers to use as teachable moments, both informally and in classroom settings.

Both beautiful and inspiring as graduation gift or guide to life. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-57231-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

more