This sweet story of Pickles won’t tickle everyone’s fancy, but overall it’s an amusing if lightweight story about an unusual...




When a miniature pig named Pickles needs a blood transfusion, his owners purchase a full-size pig that then needs to find a permanent home.

In this story based on true events, Pickles narrates his own story of adoption into a family where he is a pampered pet. He learns to play with friendly dogs and how to surf, jump over a barricade, and paint his own pictures. Then one day he gets very sick and needs a blood transfusion. His family purchases a pig for the blood supply and Pickles is saved, but the new, 650 pound pig, named Tickles, needs somewhere to live. The family finds Tickles a permanent home on a farm, where she is visited by Pickles and her family’s new pet, a puppy named Dill. (Dill, Pickles, get it?) The story is illustrated with photographs of the undeniably charming little pig, who has a snout that is half pink and half black. The big pig is also appealing in her own way, especially in several photographs at her new home on the farm. The concept of a blood transfusion from one pig to another may be over the heads of the intended audience, but the idea of a pet pig in the house will probably appeal to most preschoolers, if not their parents. An author’s note explains the circumstances of the little pig’s illness and his treatment.

This sweet story of Pickles won’t tickle everyone’s fancy, but overall it’s an amusing if lightweight story about an unusual type of pet. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5344-3662-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A $16.99 Mother’s Day card for cat lovers.


The team of Costain and Lovšin (Daddies are Awesome, 2016) gives moms their due.

Rhyming verses tell of all the ways moms are amazing: “Mommies are magic. / They kiss away troubles… // …find gold in the sunlight / and rainbows in bubbles.” Moms are joyful—the best playmates. They are also fearless and will protect and soothe if you are scared. Clever moms know just what to do when you’re sad, sporty moms run and leap and climb, while tender moms cuddle. “My mommy’s so special. / I tell her each day… // … just how much I love her / in every way!” Whereas dads were illustrated with playful pups and grown-up dogs in the previous book, moms are shown as cats with their kittens in myriad colors, sizes, and breeds. Lovšin’s cats look as though they are smiling at each other in their fun, though several spreads are distractingly cut in half by the gutter. However delightful the presentation—the verse rolls fairly smoothly, and the cats are pretty cute—the overall effect is akin to a cream puff’s: very sweet and insubstantial.

A $16.99 Mother’s Day card for cat lovers. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62779-651-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

There are better fish in the board-book sea.


From the Science for Toddlers series

Dramatic stock photos and die-cut tabs are the distinguishing features of this board book.

“Did you know that there are over 400 types of sharks?” is an intriguing opening, but readers primed to find out about those specific types may be surprised that the shark on the facing page is not identified. Instead, the picture of a shark above a school of fish gives a sense of its size. Smaller text explains that shark skeletons are made of cartilage, not bone. Layered die cuts that accentuate the nose and mouth of nine different sharks on the right-hand pages invite children to turn the pages quickly. White type printed against various contrasting colors on the left-hand pages offers tidbits of information but is unlikely to make young children pause long enough to be read the text. A picture of almost 40 sharks swimming together seems to contradict the accompanying explanation that many sharks are endangered. A final full-color spread speaks of sharks’ important role in maintaining ocean balance and includes a picture of a grandfatherly shark scientist. The back cover is devoted to information for adults. While intriguing and scientifically credible, the wordy text and seemingly arbitrary factoids are well beyond the attention spans of all but the most avid young fans of the species.

There are better fish in the board-book sea. (Board book. 3-4)

Pub Date: June 6, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4549-2128-8

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet