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Walking through many different types of trees, three hikers discover the creatures that inhabit the various climes and seasons. Stepping through the autumn forest, they spy squirrels and chickadees. In the spruce trees, they find a moose, a Canadian goose, and a beaver. Gum trees are home to a kookaburra and a koala, while the Pinion Pines hide a rattlesnake and a roadrunner. Each double-paged spread features a foldout portion, asking readers to guess “ . . . what will we see in the trees, we three?” By lifting the flap, readers can read the rest of the verse and the names of the animals illustrated beneath. By making sure only to listen, watch, and care for the forests, the three leave them for others to enjoy. Clear colors and simple shapes make the various trees and their inhabitants easy to identify. The repetitive verses and simple rhymes will make this a favorite of young naturalists. This addition to the team’s other books investigating flying and sailing (We’ll All Go Flying, not reviewed, etc.) will entice readers to explore their own environments. (Picture book.3-5)

Pub Date: April 1, 2003

ISBN: 1-55041-732-0

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Fitzhenry & Whiteside

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2003

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Watching unlikely friends finally be as “happy as two someones can be” feels like being enveloped in your very own hug.

What to do when you’re a prickly animal hankering for a hug? Why, find another misfit animal also searching for an embrace!

Sweet but “tricky to hug” little Hedgehog is down in the dumps. Wandering the forest, Hedgehog begs different animals for hugs, but each rejects them. Readers will giggle at their panicked excuses—an evasive squirrel must suddenly count its three measly acorns; a magpie begins a drawn-out song—but will also be indignant on poor hedgehog’s behalf. Hedgehog has the appealingly pink-cheeked softness typical of Dunbar’s art, and the gentle watercolors are nonthreatening, though she also captures the animals’ genuine concern about being poked. A wise owl counsels the dejected hedgehog that while the prickles may frighten some, “there’s someone for everyone.” That’s when Hedgehog spots a similarly lonely tortoise, rejected due to its “very hard” shell but perfectly matched for a spiky new friend. They race toward each other until the glorious meeting, marked with swoony peach swirls and overjoyed grins. At this point, readers flip the book to hear the same gloomy tale from the tortoise’s perspective until it again culminates in that joyous hug, a book turn that’s made a pleasure with thick creamy paper and solid binding.

Watching unlikely friends finally be as “happy as two someones can be” feels like being enveloped in your very own hug. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-571-34875-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Faber & Faber

Review Posted Online: Jan. 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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Canine Kipper squires his piglet friend, Arnold, from "Aa is for ant" to "Zz is for Zebra" in a big, playful, alphabet story that is just the ticket for turning pre-readers into new readers. Inkpen adds a bit extra to most of the literary encounters: "Cc" is not just for caterpillar, but Crawly caterpillar; "Nn is for No, not now" (said to the zebra); and "Xx" for Xugglybug, an "interesting insect" picked up at "Ii." The best moment is when the audience is invited to help Kipper out when his mind goes blank at "Kk." Young children will also painlessly discover an array of additional concepts as, for instance, Kipper and Arnold go up and down a hill, discover that an elephant is too big to fit into Arnold's collecting box, or learn that the first letter of "gnat" is silent. Acres of white space surround the large-type text and simply drawn figures without overwhelming them, making this equally suitable for sharing with one child or a group. Just about the cutest puppy in a favorite series achieves a stellar new success. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-15-202594-4

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2001

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