A silly and surprising picture book that will quickly join regular rotation.

READ REVIEW

EAT PETE!

A monster looks for a snack.

Preschooler Pete is playing cars in his bedroom when a purple-furred, horned, and snaggle-toothed monster peers through the window. Pete invites the monster to play, but the monster’s intentions are made clear by the thought bubble hovering over his head: This monster wants to “EAT PETE!” Luckily for Pete, this monster is easily distracted and decides that “playing cars looked like fun.” Pete and the monster cheerfully race cars, play pirates, and build with blocks together; each time they switch activities, the monster first thinks about eating Pete and then decides to play. But this doesn’t last long: By the book’s middle, the monster does in fact eat Pete, the act presaged by a moment when the monster’s enormous, drooling face occupies the entire double-page spread just behind oblivious, smiling Pete. But after that? Playing alone is not so much fun. Rex smartly teases out the will-he, won’t-he just long enough for readers to assume it’ll never happen before shocking little ones with the deed. A happy ending awaits, but little readers will be briefly flabbergasted and quite giggly. Rex’s clean-lined cartoons are beautifully paced, the monster looming over the round-headed white boy and then pulling back again and again before a nearly wordless spread in which the monster sits, satisfied, one hand on his tummy before his final change of heart.

A silly and surprising picture book that will quickly join regular rotation. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 14, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-3880-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2018

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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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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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