The element of surprise and lots of opportunities for listeners to chime in will make this a great one for read-alouds.

BYE BYE BIG!

Little ones explore the food chain and make size comparisons in this tongue-in-cheek book.

Graphically bold, textured cut-paper illustrations in highly saturated colors are a big draw here. The book opens with a giant green frog on the verso, its eyes swiveled to peer at the little purple mosquito on the edge of the recto: “There was a BIG BIG FROG! And a little little mosquito.” The typeface plays a big part in the tale: “BIG! Little. / BIG! Little” is the only text on the following double-page spread. And another page turn reveals “Bye Bye Mosquito!” Wings stick out of the frog’s mouth, a tone-on-tone outline of the mosquito on its belly. But then, what’s this? All of a sudden the frog is the little animal, a snake the big one. The process repeats through a bird, a tiger, and to a man, who throws a net over the tiger. But then the littlest animal returns to show how mighty it is, and the final illustration shows all the animals tumbling forth as in “The Little Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly.” Harvill’s pictures are never grotesque or gory, so this is a rather gentle introduction to the way of the wild, though the animals’ eyes can sometimes look manic, and the cover is a bit hard to parse visually.

The element of surprise and lots of opportunities for listeners to chime in will make this a great one for read-alouds. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-945268-03-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Plum Street Publishers

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2017

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Roller-coaster enthusiasts or not, children will eagerly join our intrepid hero on this entertaining ride.

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THE PIGEON WILL RIDE THE ROLLER COASTER!

The Pigeon is on an emotional—and physical—roller coaster.

Since learning about the existence of roller coasters, he’s become giddy with excitement. The Pigeon prepares mentally: He’ll need a ticket and “exemplary patience” to wait in line. He envisions zooming up and down and careening through dizzying turns and loops. Then, he imagines his emotions afterward: exhilaration, post-ride blues, pride at having accomplished such a feat, and enthusiasm at the prospect of riding again. (He’ll also feel dizzy and nauseous.) All this before the Pigeon ever sets claw on an actual coaster. So…will he really try it? Are roller coasters fun? When the moment comes, everything seems to go according to plan: waiting in line, settling into the little car, THEN—off he goes! Though the ride itself isn’t quite what the Pigeon expected, it will delight readers. Wearing his feelings on his wing and speaking directly to the audience in first person, the Pigeon describes realistic thoughts and emotions about waiting and guessing about the unknown—common childhood experiences. No sentiment is misplaced; kids will relate to Pigeon’s eagerness and apprehension. The ending falls somewhat flat, but the whole humorous point is that an underwhelming adventure can still be thrilling enough to warrant repeating. Willems’ trademark droll illustrations will have readers giggling. The roller-coaster attendant is light-skinned. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Roller-coaster enthusiasts or not, children will eagerly join our intrepid hero on this entertaining ride. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-4549-4686-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Union Square Kids

Review Posted Online: June 8, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2022

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Fun enough to read once but without enough substance to last.

GREEN IS FOR CHRISTMAS

Familiar crayon characters argue over which color is the essential Christmas color.

Green starts by saying that green is for Christmas. After all, green is for holly. But Red objects. Red is for candy canes. Green is for fir trees, Green retorts. But Red is for Santa Claus, who agrees. (Santa is depicted as a white-bearded White man.) Then White joins the fray. After spending the year being invisible, White isn’t giving up the distinction of association with Christmas. Snow, anyone? But then there’s Silver: stars and bells. And Brown: cookies and reindeer! At this point, everyone is confused. But they come together and agree that Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without all of them together. Someone may get the last word, though. In Daywalt and Jeffers’ now-signature style, the crayon-written text is spare and humorous, while the crayon characters engage with each other against a bare white background, vying for attention. Dot-eyed faces and stick legs on each object turn them all into comical, if similar, personalities. But the series’ original cleverness is absent here, leaving readers with a perfunctory recitation of attributes. Fans of the crayon books may delight in another themed installment; those who aren’t already fans will likely find it lacking. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Fun enough to read once but without enough substance to last. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 19, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-35338-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

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