BERTIE AT BEDTIME

Bertie the Hippo wants Daddy to play. Daddy promises to do so after supper. Bertie’s not the most dedicated eater, but he makes it through. Daddy has Bertie brush and wash before playing chase (which ends in the tub with bubbles and ducky). After hide-and-seek, Daddy tries to get Bertie into bed again. Bertie needs storytime. Daddy tries again after three books, but a dance, a glass of water, a trip to the potty and a song all get squeezed in before bed . . . and then Bertie’s not the one who nods off. Prolific Swiss father of Rainbow Fish Pfister returns to the bedtime-book format with this outing. The watercolors are vibrant, with heavy lines in the vein of Holey Moley (2006) rather than the feathery washes of the Hopper and Penguin Pete books. Mercifully, there are no holograms here, but why doesn’t Daddy Hippo wear any clothes? Gentle, sweet and endearing, but hardly unique. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-7358-2194-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: NorthSouth

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2008

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TOO MANY TOYS

Spencer owns a multitude of toys: old toys and new ones, big toys and small ones, bath toys, wooden toys, board games, computer games, miniature cars and trucks, musical instruments, stuffed animals and action figures. They are everywhere, including on the floor where his parents can trip on them. One day, Spencer’s mom has had enough and announces that some of the toys have to go. Shaken, Spencer cries, “BUT I LOVE THEM ALL!” There’s no stopping Spencer’s mom, however, who says she will help and proves to be a worthy adversary when Spencer attempts to make deals. Snappy dialogue and an absolutely on-target understanding of the psyches of both mother and child make the negotiation scene absolutely priceless. Will they both make it through the harrowing task before them? The elaborate, child-friendly pictures perfectly capture Spencer’s world, zeroing in on the chaos with glee and then pulling back to demonstrate graphically the traumas suffered by both adults and child in the process. Shannon’s sardonic wit will strike a chord with parents and children alike. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-439-49029-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2008

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DIM SUM FOR EVERYONE!

Dim sum is the perfect tea party for children because of the tasty, small dishes on teacarts from which to choose. Here, a little girl narrates a simple story of the delicious meal she shares with her family. Turnip cakes, fried shrimp, sweet pork buns, and sweet tofu are all chosen, and lastly, the narrator selects egg tarts. As each child selects from a cart, the perspective changes to focus on the chooser. The bright red restaurant rug is the background color for every page, setting off the silver carts with their goodies and the bright, patterned colors of the people’s clothes. The yellow letters of the text at times curve to match the tables in the picture or appear a little off to the side so as not to interfere with the visual image. One particularly effective spread steps back and shows a half-dozen tables all filled with little dishes and the silver carts wending their way through them; the pattern is delightful. A history of the origins of dim sum and its popularity today is described in an epilogue. The bright green endpapers are decorated at the front with food, condiments, and tableware while the back endpapers depict almost two dozen dim sum dishes. A delightful read-aloud, sure to please those children who have enjoyed dim sum and a fascinating adventure for those who have yet to experience it. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 10, 2001

ISBN: 978-0-440-41770-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2001

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