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YOU'RE FINALLY HERE!

“You’re finally here!” Bunny shouts; his excitement knows no bounds until he thinks to demand, “But where were you?” Testily, he lets readers know how long he’s been waiting and how totally bored he got (the bore-o-meter reads, “Bored up to my ears!!!”). Concerned they might be getting off on the wrong foot, he moves back to celebration! Until he asks, “But seriously, where were you?” and he lectures readers on unfairness…and lets them know how annoying it is to have to wait…and just how rude they’ve been. He’s willing to forgive and forget—if readers are willing to sign a contract stating they’ll stay “forever and ever.” Just as he starts to celebrate the signing of the contract, his cell phone rings. It’s a call he has to take; “hold that thought.... No, no, I'm not busy at all....” Watt introduces another saucy critter to the fourth-wall–breaking menagerie that includes her own Chester the cat and Mo Willems’ Pigeon and adds a pointed lecture on cell-phone etiquette to the book-about-a-book conceit. The computer-generated bunny is in-your-face, manga adorable, but as the page compositions largely consist of Bunny alternately glaring and grinning at readers against a wood-grained background and speech balloons, a certain tedium develops before the twist at the end. A good-but-not-great entry in the meta–picture-book genre. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4231-3486-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2011

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HEY, DUCK!

A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together.

A clueless duckling tries to make a new friend.

He is confused by this peculiar-looking duck, who has a long tail, doesn’t waddle and likes to be alone. No matter how explicitly the creature denies he is a duck and announces that he is a cat, the duckling refuses to acknowledge the facts.  When this creature expresses complete lack of interest in playing puddle stomp, the little ducking goes off and plays on his own. But the cat is not without remorse for rejecting an offered friendship. Of course it all ends happily, with the two new friends enjoying each other’s company. Bramsen employs brief sentences and the simplest of rhymes to tell this slight tale. The two heroes are meticulously drawn with endearing, expressive faces and body language, and their feathers and fur appear textured and touchable. Even the detailed tree bark and grass seem three-dimensional. There are single- and double-page spreads, panels surrounded by white space and circular and oval frames, all in a variety of eye-pleasing juxtapositions. While the initial appeal is solidly visual, young readers will get the gentle message that friendship is not something to take for granted but is to be embraced with open arms—or paws and webbed feet.

A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-375-86990-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.

Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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