Readers will appreciate the clean design and the warm and humorous story; they’ll hope Rory sets off again soon.

READ REVIEW

RORY THE DINOSAUR

ME AND MY DAD

From the Rory the Dinosaur series

Rory is a young dinosaur who loves to do things with his dad, but when his father takes some time to relax, Rory decides to set off on a solo adventure.

Rory “has a lot of energy. Sometimes too much.” When his dad takes a break with a book, Rory thinks, “Everything is quiet. Too quiet.” He hatches a plan to leave their island home in search of fun. Readers will notice his father not far behind. Soon Rory encounters obstacles such as a river and a wild pig. Unbeknownst to Rory, his dad has slipped under the water so his spines can act as “stepping stones” allowing Rory to cross the river, and his unnoticed assistance doesn’t end there. As Rory’s confidence in his accomplishments grows, his poor dad becomes increasingly bedraggled. Climo uses abundant white space to set off her digitally rendered characters. Hand-lettering sets off Rory’s thoughts from the text, as when he realizes he forgot his drink: “aw, man.” (His dad helps there, too.) Returning home (one step behind dad), Rory excitedly recounts his adventure while his father patiently listens. Rory proclaims, “I’ll wait a while before I leave home again. I don’t want you to miss me too much.” Indeed.

Readers will appreciate the clean design and the warm and humorous story; they’ll hope Rory sets off again soon. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: May 5, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-316-27728-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2015

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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

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A sweet and far-from-cloying ode to love.

THE LOVE LETTER

A mysterious love letter brightens the lives of three forest animals.

Appealing mixed-media illustrations made of ink, gouache, brush marker, and colored pencil combine with a timely message that one kind act can start a chain reaction of kindness. When Hedgehog, Bunny, and Squirrel stumble in turn upon a formally composed love letter, each finds their life improved: Squirrel is less anxious, Bunny spreads goodwill through helpfulness, and Hedgehog is unusually cheerful. As the friends converge to try to discover who sent the letter, the real author appears in a (rather) convenient turn: a mouse who wrote an ode to the moon. Though disappointed that the letter was never meant for them, the friends reflect that the letter still made the world a happier place, making it a “wonderful mix-up.” Since there’s a lot of plot to follow, the book will best serve more-observant readers who are able to piece the narrative cleanly, but those older readers may also better appreciate the special little touches, such as the letter’s enticing, old-fashioned typewriter-style look, vignettes that capture small moments, or the subdued color palette that lends an elegant air. Drawn with minimalist, scribbly lines, the creatures achieve an invigorating balance between charming and spontaneous, with smudged lines that hint at layers of fur and simple, dotted facial expressions.

A sweet and far-from-cloying ode to love. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-274157-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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