Patch and his new bear friend would be right at home with Karma Wilson’s Bear.



A hare whose heart is in the right place helps a grouchy bear solve his problem and makes a new friend in the process.

Patch the Hare is one of those friends who’s underappreciated. He’s clumsy, getting in the way of his friends’ preparations for winter (the text says it’s winter, though some of the animals are making berry jam), and despite his buddies’ warnings, he can’t be scared of the big, grumpy bear—he is empathetic to a fault. While Mouse, Squirrel, and Fox hide and wonder what the bear might do to them, Patch decides to feed him, thinking that might solve the bear’s grumblings. But klutziness, a scooter, and a huge stack of blueberry-and-onion sandwiches don’t go together very well. Luckily, hunger isn’t the bear’s problem—Patch discovers he’s cold. The hare’s solution suits his name, though it doesn’t at first meet the approval of his friends…until they learn to empathize with the bear and see how touched he is by their generosity. Julian’s illustrations, which appear to be watercolor, are adorable, his animals sporting clothing and acting like people. The bright, rich colors will keep readers’ attention, and the final spread couldn’t get much cozier, especially when shared on a cold winter day, snuggled in pajamas under a warm blanket, and surrounded by loved ones.

Patch and his new bear friend would be right at home with Karma Wilson’s Bear. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-58925-189-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with...

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Reynolds and Brown have crafted a Halloween tale that balances a really spooky premise with the hilarity that accompanies any mention of underwear.

Jasper Rabbit needs new underwear. Plain White satisfies him until he spies them: “Creepy underwear! So creepy! So comfy! They were glorious.” The underwear of his dreams is a pair of radioactive-green briefs with a Frankenstein face on the front, the green color standing out all the more due to Brown’s choice to do the entire book in grayscale save for the underwear’s glowing green…and glow they do, as Jasper soon discovers. Despite his “I’m a big rabbit” assertion, that glow creeps him out, so he stuffs them in the hamper and dons Plain White. In the morning, though, he’s wearing green! He goes to increasing lengths to get rid of the glowing menace, but they don’t stay gone. It’s only when Jasper finally admits to himself that maybe he’s not such a big rabbit after all that he thinks of a clever solution to his fear of the dark. Brown’s illustrations keep the backgrounds and details simple so readers focus on Jasper’s every emotion, writ large on his expressive face. And careful observers will note that the underwear’s expression also changes, adding a bit more creep to the tale.

Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with Dr. Seuss’ tale of animate, empty pants. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4424-0298-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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The print version of a knee-slapping cumulative ditty.

In the song, Smith meets a donkey on the road. It is three-legged, and so a “wonky donkey” that, on further examination, has but one eye and so is a “winky wonky donkey” with a taste for country music and therefore a “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” and so on to a final characterization as a “spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.” A free musical recording (of this version, anyway—the author’s website hints at an adults-only version of the song) is available from the publisher and elsewhere online. Even though the book has no included soundtrack, the sly, high-spirited, eye patch–sporting donkey that grins, winks, farts, and clumps its way through the song on a prosthetic metal hoof in Cowley’s informal watercolors supplies comical visual flourishes for the silly wordplay. Look for ready guffaws from young audiences, whether read or sung, though those attuned to disability stereotypes may find themselves wincing instead or as well.

Hee haw. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-26124-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2018

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