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THE BEAR AND THE MOON

As delightful as a balloon—but with more weight.

A playful bear makes an ephemeral friend.

An expressive little black bear befriends something “red as a berry / and round like the moon / with a long silver string” in this sweet story. The bear has large ears, a white nose, and tottering, toddler-ish proportions sure to charm, and his buoyant companion somehow manages to “smile back at him like a friend” through vibrancy alone. The straightforward writing floats through Chien’s soft-textured, multimedia illustrations with heartwarming ease as the pair dance, find honey, and roll down a hill in glowing, abstract landscapes. When the inevitable occurs, as any little one enamored with something as squishable and huggable as a balloon will learn, the bear’s sorrow overcomes him. “Bad bear, / he thought. / Bad, bad bear. // Night fell, / but the bear / skipped his dinner.” The little bear sinks into deep blue spreads, but his grief melts even the heart of the moon, and with a little celestial reassurance, the bear comes to value his good memories, giving the book a satisfying amount of substance. In the author’s and illustrator’s expert hands, readers are sure to feel lighter than air and ready for bed. The dreamy spread in which the bear receives his message from the moon is worth a mention all on its own, charming and cheerful as the rest of the book may be, as are velvety lavender endpapers featuring the balloon and the moon.

As delightful as a balloon—but with more weight. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4521-7191-3

Page Count: 52

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 22, 2020

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LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S HALLOWEEN

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.

A lift-the-flap book gives the littlest trick-or-treaters some practice identifying partygoers under their costumes.

Little Blue Truck and his buddy Toad are off to a party, and they invite readers (and a black cat) along for the ride: “ ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ / says Little Blue. / ‘It’s Halloween!’ / You come, too.” As they drive, they are surprised (and joined) by many of their friends in costume. “Who’s that in a tutu / striking a pose / up on the tiniest / tips of her toes? / Under the mask / who do you see?” Lifting the flap unmasks a friend: “ ‘Quack!’ says the duck. / ‘It’s me! It’s me!’ ” The sheep is disguised as a clown, the cow’s a queen, the pig’s a witch, the hen and her chick are pirates, and the horse is a dragon. Not to be left out, Little Blue has a costume, too. The flaps are large and sturdy, and enough of the animals’ characteristic features are visible under and around the costumes that little ones will be able to make successful guesses even on the first reading. Lovely curvy shapes and autumn colors fade to dusky blues as night falls, and children are sure to notice the traditional elements of a Halloween party: apple bobbing, lit jack-o’-lanterns, and punch and treats.

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-77253-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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WOO HOO! YOU'RE DOING GREAT!

WOO-HOO! This is the perfect way to foster healthy self-esteem in little ones.

What’s better than a cheerleading chicken?

Are you ever blue, unsure, tired, or overworked? Do you ever feel lost or overwhelmed? This uplifting book, expressed in delightful, jaunty verse, explains how to lift your spirits pronto: What you need is a booster chicken telling you’re doing great even when you’re not so confident, as when you’re learning or practicing a new skill, for instance. Your feathered champion will be right there, encouraging you all the way, with a loud “WOO HOO!” that’ll keep you going and remove any doubt you’re super terrific. But what if your cheerful chick errs and doesn’t do what it set out to do? Don’t worry—your cheery chicken just needs a reminder that everyone makes mistakes. That alone is a pep talk, enhanced by the wisdom that making mistakes allows everyone to learn and demonstrate they did their best. So forgive yourself, chickens! But the best thing is…instead of relying on someone else—like a chicken—to strengthen your ego, say a generous daily “WOO HOO!” to yourself. This riotous book hits all the right notes and does so succinctly and hilariously. The energetic, comical illustrations, in Boynton’s signature style, will elicit giggles and go far to make the book’s important point. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

WOO-HOO! This is the perfect way to foster healthy self-esteem in little ones. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 4, 2023

ISBN: 978-0-316-48679-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2023

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