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BUDDY AND EARL GO EXPLORING

From the Buddy and Earl series

Roll, fetch, bite. Life is good for Buddy and Earl in this aerobic exercise of the imagination.

There are few things as pleasurable as a little nighttime adventure in which you get to trash the kitchen.

Chums Buddy the dog and Earl the hedgehog have had an eventful day and are ready for some slumber. At least Buddy is. Earl looks down from his cage at Buddy on the floor and whispers, “Wish me bon voyage.” Once Buddy is told what bon voyage means, he wants to know more, even if it does give him the collywobbles. Well, it means Earl is going to run, run, run. Pooped, Earl looks around: “This place looks eerily similar to the place I just left.” (The promise and treachery of the exercise wheel.) But there are other places to explore. It is squeeze-your-heart charming when Earl turns Buddy’s water bowl into a moonlit lake, and Buddy—the clumsy literalist—knocks over the garbage can only to find gold: meatloaf. There are monsters to tend with—hairbrush-eating purses, menacing vacuum cleaners—but better, there are fine sentences with which to wrestle: “It was a spur-of-the-moment decision”; “Wherever the road leads me....However long it takes.” Drawn with spare linework and great blocks of soft, dreamy color in a nighttime palette, the pals’ setting appropriately shifts between mundane and extraordinary, just like their adventure.

Roll, fetch, bite. Life is good for Buddy and Earl in this aerobic exercise of the imagination. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-55498-714-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Groundwood

Review Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2015

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ADDIE ANT GOES ON AN ADVENTURE

Young readers will be “antsy” to join the hero on her satisfying escapade.

An ant explores her world.

Addie Ant’s ready for adventure. Despite some trepidation about leaving the Tomato Bed, where she lives with her aunt, she plucks up her courage and ventures forth across the garden to the far side of the shed. On her journey, she meets her pal Lewis Ladybug, who greets her warmly, points the way, and offers sage advice. When Addie arrives at her destination, she’s welcomed by lovely Beatrix Butterfly and enjoys an “ant-tastic” helping of watermelon. Beatrix also provides Addie with take-home treats and a map for the “Cricket Express,” which will take her straight home. Arriving at the terminal, Addie’s delighted to meet another friend, Cleo Cricket, whose carriage service returns Addie home in “two hops.” After eating a warm tomato soup dinner, Addie falls asleep and dreams of future exploits. Adorable though not terribly original, this story brims with sensuous pleasures, both textual and visual. Kids who declare that they dislike fruits or veggies may find their mouths watering at the mentions and sights of luscious tomatoes, peas, beans, watermelons, berries, and other foodstuffs; insect-averse readers may likewise think differently after encountering these convivial, wide-eyed characters. And those flowers and herbs everywhere! The highlights are the colors that burst from the pages. Addie’s an endearing, empowering character who reassures children they’ll be able to take those first independent steps successfully.

Young readers will be “antsy” to join the hero on her satisfying escapade. (author’s note about ants) (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 9, 2024

ISBN: 9781797228914

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2024

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ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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