The message that real friends value their pals most for being themselves couldn’t be delivered by a cuter button.

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The most charming button in picture books returns for a “Gift of the Magi”–style Christmas tale in this sequel.

Norman the Button is happy with his new life as a nose for Freddy Teddy. The two are inseparable—that is, until bedtime. The stuffed bear’s awful snoring keeps Norman up at night, so he sleeps on his own in a dollhouse. One night, Norman overhears Freddy telling the rest of the toys that he has the perfect Christmas present for his close friend. Norman frantically tries to come up with a terrific gift for Freddy, but a car proves too expensive, a cellphone on sale turns out to be worthless, and the cake the button attempts to bake—complete with raw bacon and unbroken egg—is a disaster. Norman feels that the homemade present he finally concocts isn’t good enough for his pal. Luckily, Freddy truly appreciates Norman’s talents and loves his gift. Olson’s (Norman, 2018) signature puns (jokes the two friends read together put Norman “in stitches”; the snacks they share make Freddy “stuffed”) are fewer than in the first volume. But Norman’s misadventures help him learn to value his own talents and deftly reinforce the themes of the original story. The author’s posed photographs with digitally illustrated details are gloriously silly and sure to give adults giggles alongside their children.

The message that real friends value their pals most for being themselves couldn’t be delivered by a cuter button.

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-73237-073-9

Page Count: 34

Publisher: Bellie Button Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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            There are many parallel legends – the seal women, for example, with their strange sad longings – but none is more direct than this American Indian story of a girl who is carried away in a horses’ stampede…to ride thenceforth by the side of a beautiful stallion who leads the wild horses.  The girl had always loved horses, and seemed to understand them “in a special way”; a year after her disappearance her people find her riding beside the stallion, calf in tow, and take her home despite his strong resistance.  But she is unhappy and returns to the stallion; after that, a beautiful mare is seen riding always beside him.  Goble tells the story soberly, allowing it to settle, to find its own level.  The illustrations are in the familiar striking Goble style, but softened out here and there with masses of flowers and foliage – suitable perhaps for the switch in subject matter from war to love, but we miss the spanking clean design of Custer’s Last Battle and The Fetterman Fight.          6-7

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1978

ISBN: 0689845049

Page Count: -

Publisher: Bradbury

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1978

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With the same delightfully irreverent spirit that he brought to his retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood" (1987), Marshall enlivens another favorite. Although completely retold with his usual pungent wit and contemporary touches ("I don't mind if I do," says Goldilocks, as she tries out porridge, chair, and bed), Marshall retains the stories well-loved pattern, including Goldilocks escaping through the window (whereupon Baby Bear inquires, "Who was that little girl?"). The illustrations are fraught with delicious humor and detail: books that are stacked everywhere around the rather cluttered house, including some used in lieu of a missing leg for Papa Bear's chair; comically exaggerated beds—much too high at the head and the foot; and Baby Bear's wonderfully messy room, which certainly brings the story into the 20th century. Like its predecessor, perfect for several uses, from picture-book hour to beginning reading.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1988

ISBN: 0140563660

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1988

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