Swipe this one off the shelf for a belly-laugh–inducing beach read.

SMUG SEAGULL

Smug Seagull meets its match.

The titular avian character is smug because it’s “the best snack swiper from shore to shore,” if it does say so itself—and it does. Repeatedly. No beachgoer’s snack is safe from its swiping ways, and it’s darn proud of that fact. “I got my name in lights!” it brags, pointing to a lamppost sign reading: “ATTENTION PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE SEAGULLS.” And “I got my name in the sky,” it continues, flying near a plane pulling a banner that advertises “The Seagull Grill.” The comics-influenced storytelling, with sunny-hued panels and speech balloons, is ideal for the text’s cheeky humor, which owes something of a debt to Mo Willems’ Pigeon books. Smug Seagull gets its comeuppance not from a bus driver, but when a tiny crab swipes back a french fry the gull had swiped from the crustacean. A slapstick chase ensues, complete with underwater antics, and a decidedly less smug Smug Seagull emerges from the sea, humbled, dismayed, and french fry–less. Things take a turn for the worse when it realizes beachgoers have found ways to prevent it from swiping their snacks. “I’VE LOST MY SWIPE TO A CRAB!!!” Smug Seagull wails. But all is not lost. The crab shows the gulls how to endear themselves to “tiny humans” and still get plenty of snacks.

Swipe this one off the shelf for a belly-laugh–inducing beach read. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: May 26, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-316-52319-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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A winning tale about finding new friends.

FOUND

Bear finds a wonderful toy.

Bear clearly loves the toy bunny that he has found sitting up against a tree in the forest, but he wants to help it return to its home. With a wagon full of fliers and the bunny secure in Bear’s backpack, he festoons the trees with posters and checks out a bulletin board filled with lost and found objects (some of which will bring a chuckle to adult readers). Alas, he returns home still worried about bunny. The following day, they happily play together and ride Bear’s tricycle. Into the cozy little picture steps Moose, who immediately recognizes his bunny, named Floppy. Bear has a tear in his eye as he watches Moose and Floppy hug. But Moose, wearing a tie, is clearly grown and knows that it is time to share and that Bear will take very good care of his Floppy. Yoon’s story is sweet without being sentimental. She uses digitized artwork in saturated colors to create a lovely little world for her animals. They are outlined in strong black lines and stand out against the yellows, blues, greens and oranges of the background. She also uses space to great effect, allowing readers to feel the emotional tug of the story.

A winning tale about finding new friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8027-3559-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2014

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