Little Lola’s endearing story gains stature with its realistic, appealing photographs and sweet bond between dog and teddy...

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LOLA'S TEDDY BEAR

In her fifth outing, Lola the Yorkshire terrier introduces her beloved miniature teddy bear companion, Bear.

Lola narrates the brief story, describing Bear and their activities together. They sleep together, hold tea parties, go on jaunts outside, and play hide-and-seek. At bedtime Lola can’t find Bear, so she searches around her house, finally falling asleep next to Bear’s tiny, empty bed. In the morning, Lola runs outside and easily finds Bear hiding in a hedge. Bear is wet and doesn’t make a squeaky sound any more, but Lola loves her just the same. The story is illustrated with photographs of the dog posed in amusing scenes with just one or two sentences per page set in large type. While there isn’t much of a plot, Lola’s love for her teddy bear and distress at her toy’s disappearance will be familiar to preschoolers and their caregivers. The author/photographer is a special education teacher who works with children with autism. She has included a curriculum guide with focus words, discussion questions, and related simple activities. The brief but satisfying story could be used with toddlers just transitioning into books with a plot, with new readers, and with children with special needs.

Little Lola’s endearing story gains stature with its realistic, appealing photographs and sweet bond between dog and teddy bear. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-939547-50-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Creston

Review Posted Online: July 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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Both beautiful and inspiring as graduation gift or guide to life.

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BE YOU!

An inspirational picture book offers life advice for readers who want to be themselves.

Replete with sparkling, often quirky illustrations of children living their best lives, this book is a gorgeous guidebook for those seeking encouragement while encountering life’s challenges. The children featured—a racially diverse group ranging from infants to preschoolers—cheerfully navigate the various injunctions that flow through the text: “Be curious.…Be adventurous.…Be persistent.…Be kind.” What is remarkable about the book is that even though the instructions and the brief sentences explaining them are at times vague, the illustrations expand on them in ways readers will find endearing and uplifting. Those depicting painful or challenging moments are especially effective. The “Be persistent” double-page spread shows a child in a boat on stormy seas; it’s rich with deep blues as it emphasizes the energy of wind and rain and struggle in the face of challenge. Together with the accompanying repeated phrase “Keep going, never stop. Keep going, never stop. Keep going, never stop,” this spread arrests readers. By contrast, the “Be kind. Be understanding” spread simply presents two children’s faces, one cast in blue and the other in gold, but the empathy that Reynolds conveys is similarly captivating. While there is no plot to pull readers through the pages, the book provides rich fodder for caregivers to use as teachable moments, both informally and in classroom settings.

Both beautiful and inspiring as graduation gift or guide to life. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-57231-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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