Adoptees may appreciate the message; introverts may want to look elsewhere.

THE GOOSE EGG

Once Henrietta the elephant’s quiet is interrupted, there may be no going back to being satisfied with solitude.

Henrietta’s a classic introvert. She loves her Darjeeling and the morning paper. She loves swimming below the noisy geese at the lake and savoring the peace underwater. But one day, the elephant gets “a little too lost” in her thoughts, and she bonks her head on a piling. She bandages the “goose egg” she feels on her head with her trunk. (In-the-know listeners will be screaming with delight.) Henrietta’s brought up short when her egg hatches and she finds herself a “Mama!” When she is unable to return the imprinted baby to the nest, Henrietta takes her in, but her peace and solitude are shattered, and that only worsens as Goose grows. Finally, the clever elephant uses a brush and paint to transform her head into a mama goose, and she teaches the bird all she needs to know about being a goose. Goose flies off in the fall, but Henrietta’s quiet is now emptiness…until Goose returns with goslings of her own. Wong’s watercolor, colored pencil, gouache, and Photoshop illustrations are delightfully spare, keeping the focus on the expressive elephant and her dilemma. Henrietta is the only character with personality; Goose (and her goslings) is merely cute. While a sweet tale, it carries with it the rather overbearing assumption that introverts are, unbeknownst to them, probably actually lonely.

Adoptees may appreciate the message; introverts may want to look elsewhere. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-553-51157-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Roller-coaster enthusiasts or not, children will eagerly join our intrepid hero on this entertaining ride.

THE PIGEON WILL RIDE THE ROLLER COASTER!

The Pigeon is on an emotional—and physical—roller coaster.

Since learning about the existence of roller coasters, he’s become giddy with excitement. The Pigeon prepares mentally: He’ll need a ticket and “exemplary patience” to wait in line. He envisions zooming up and down and careening through dizzying turns and loops. Then, he imagines his emotions afterward: exhilaration, post-ride blues, pride at having accomplished such a feat, and enthusiasm at the prospect of riding again. (He’ll also feel dizzy and nauseous.) All this before the Pigeon ever sets claw on an actual coaster. So…will he really try it? Are roller coasters fun? When the moment comes, everything seems to go according to plan: waiting in line, settling into the little car, THEN—off he goes! Though the ride itself isn’t quite what the Pigeon expected, it will delight readers. Wearing his feelings on his wing and speaking directly to the audience in first person, the Pigeon describes realistic thoughts and emotions about waiting and guessing about the unknown—common childhood experiences. No sentiment is misplaced; kids will relate to Pigeon’s eagerness and apprehension. The ending falls somewhat flat, but the whole humorous point is that an underwhelming adventure can still be thrilling enough to warrant repeating. Willems’ trademark droll illustrations will have readers giggling. The roller-coaster attendant is light-skinned. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Roller-coaster enthusiasts or not, children will eagerly join our intrepid hero on this entertaining ride. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-4549-4686-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Union Square Kids

Review Posted Online: June 8, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Chilling in the best ways.

CREEPY CRAYON!

From the Creepy Tales! series

When a young rabbit who’s struggling in school finds a helpful crayon, everything is suddenly perfect—until it isn’t.

Jasper is flunking everything except art and is desperate for help when he finds the crayon. “Purple. Pointy…perfect”—and alive. When Jasper watches TV instead of studying, he misspells every word on his spelling test, but the crayon seems to know the answers, and when he uses the crayon to write, he can spell them all. When he faces a math quiz after skipping his homework, the crayon aces it for him. Jasper is only a little creeped out until the crayon changes his art—the one area where Jasper excels—into something better. As guilt-ridden Jasper receives accolade after accolade for grades and work that aren’t his, the crayon becomes more and more possessive of Jasper’s attention and affection, and it is only when Jasper cannot take it anymore that he discovers just what he’s gotten himself into. Reynolds’ text might as well be a Rod Serling monologue for its perfectly paced foreboding and unsettling tension, both gentled by lightly ominous humor. Brown goes all in to match with a grayscale palette for everything but the purple crayon—a callback to black-and-white sci-fi thrillers as much as a visual cue for nascent horror readers. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Chilling in the best ways. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 23, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5344-6588-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 25, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2022

Did you like this book?

more