With true fearlessness and finely honed skills, this talented duo has created a most entertaining hero.

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KEL GILLIGAN'S DAREDEVIL STUNT SHOW

Preschoolers everywhere can relate to the steely bravery, sheer willpower and steady determination it often takes to surmount the herculean obstacles a day can bring.

Kel Gilligan is no ordinary boy. He is a daredevil. He is “the boy without fear.” He can do amazing things all by himself: eat broccoli, face “the Potty of Doom,” get dressed, keep busy while Mom “finishes her conversation… / UNINTERRUPTED!!,” take “a bath with one assistant,” and “go to bed without checking the room for monsters.” The pages are peppered with word bubbles bearing over-the-top declarations from Kel and equally humorous reactions from Kel’s family members. Grandma always claps, while the others exclaim in awed disbelief when the stunt is accomplished. Santat depicts these impressive feats with illustrations that have a retro comic-book look. Kel is portrayed most often with a manly face with an expressive brow. He talks tough and looks even tougher…except when his nerves are tested. Can he really get that shirt on? Will Mom ever get off the phone? Who knew going potty would take so long? Whether he is in underpants, in his caped stuntman outfit or bare-bottomed, young readers (and their grown-ups) cannot help but laugh out loud at the hilarious details of Kel’s silly adventures because they tackle them daily and know them too well.

With true fearlessness and finely honed skills, this talented duo has created a most entertaining hero. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0379-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: May 2, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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This deeply satisfying story offers what all children crave when letting go—security and a trusted companion.

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SLEEP LIKE A TIGER

The stages and script preceding this child’s passage into dreamland are so appealing they will surely inspire imitation.

When the protagonist announces that she is not sleepy, her wise parents counter that they are not requiring sleep, only pajama-wearing, face-washing and teeth-brushing. She then feels so good that “she loved / …stretching her toes / down under the crisp sheets, / lying as still as an otter / floating in a stream.” Logue’s words lull and caress as parents and child converse about how and where animals sleep. (Many appeared on earlier pages as toys.) Alone, the youngster replays each scene, inserting herself; the cozy images help her relax. Zagarenski’s exquisite compositions are rendered digitally and in mixed-media on wood, offering much to ponder. The paintings are luminous, from the child’s starry pajamas to the glowing whale supporting her sleep journey. Transparent layers, blending patterns, complex textures and wheeled objects add to the sense of gentle movement. The tiger, both the beloved cloth version and the real deal, is featured prominently; it is the child who contributes this example, narrating the connection between strength and rest. When sleep arrives, the stuffed animal is cradled in her arms; she leans against the jungle beast, and he clings to her doll.

This deeply satisfying story offers what all children crave when letting go—security and a trusted companion. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-547-64102-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Aug. 8, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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When Llama Llama’s feeling “just not right” turns into a full-blown sickness complete with aches, sneezing, fever and sore...

LLAMA LLAMA HOME WITH MAMA

From the Llama Llama series , Vol. 5

Proving once again that she understands the preschool set, Dewdney shows what life is like when first Llama Llama and then Mama get sick.

When Llama Llama’s feeling “just not right” turns into a full-blown sickness complete with aches, sneezing, fever and sore throat, Mama sends him back to bed (wearing red pajamas, of course) and administers the inevitable yucky medicine. The listless boy struggles to occupy himself, but Mama saves the day with a book, after which he takes a curative snooze. But after lunch the tables turn—Llama Llama is feeling better, but Mama now has the sniffles: “Llama Llama, red pajama, / sick and bored, at home with Mama.” Luckily, he’s still in that delightful preschool stage where helping out is a favorite playtime activity, and he has learned how to care for sick people from a master. A fluffed pillow, new box of tissues and stack of books are just what Mama needs. While his actions are sweet and endearing, it’s the togetherness that sets both on the road to recovery. Dewdney’s artwork is the ideal foil to her rhyming verses—her characters’ bleary, sick expressions alone are sure to elicit giggles and knowing smiles.

Pub Date: Aug. 23, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-670-01232-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: July 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2011

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