Dig into this playful, beachy read.

READ REVIEW

THE SANDCASTLE THAT LOLA BUILT

Lola’s beach day becomes more enjoyable when she gets a little help from some friends.

The opening text adopts a cumulative pattern, reading: “This is the sandcastle that Lola built. // This is the tall, tall tower / Of the sandcastle that Lola built.” Lola starts off her construction alone, but after she’s topped the tower with sea glass “that signals mermaids,” the narration is interrupted by Lola’s own words: “This is the foot—‘Hey! You stepped on my sandcastle!’ ” Lola immediately forgives the boy (called only “the dude with a Frisbee” or “Frisbee Dude”) who’s stepped on her sand castle and invites him to build with her. He adds a wall, and the cumulative text moves on…until it’s interrupted by the arrival of a toddler and his toy truck. This pattern continues, with lines added to the cumulative text as both the sand castle and the group of children building it get bigger. Then, Lola is bereft when a big wave destroys their creation, but her new friends convince her to build a new one, together. Berube’s illustrations, done in mixed media and collage, add visual humor and interest with their expressive depictions of the racially diverse children and background details—including mermaids hidden in clouds and sea. Lola has tan skin and straight, dark hair; Frisbee Dude has pale skin and curly, red hair, and the little toddler has medium brown skin and, adorably, no hair.

Dig into this playful, beachy read. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: May 15, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-1615-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

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Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original...

A KISSING HAND FOR CHESTER RACCOON

From the Kissing Hand series

A sweetened, condensed version of the best-selling picture book, The Kissing Hand.

As in the original, Chester Raccoon is nervous about attending Owl’s night school (raccoons are nocturnal). His mom kisses him on the paw and reminds him, “With a Kissing Hand… / We’ll never be apart.” The text boils the story down to its key elements, causing this version to feel rushed. Gone is the list of fun things Chester will get to do at school. Fans of the original may be disappointed that this board edition uses a different illustrator. Gibson’s work is equally sentimental, but her renderings are stiff and flat in comparison to the watercolors of Harper and Leak. Very young readers will probably not understand that Owl’s tree, filled with opossums, a squirrel, a chipmunk and others, is supposed to be a school.

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original shouldn’t look to this version as replacement for their page-worn copies. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-933718-77-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Tanglewood Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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