Doesn’t get off the ground.


As one might guess from the book’s title, an otherwise unnamed boy with bangs that cover his eyes is obsessed with bouncing on his trampoline.

He bounces from morning to night, reaching magical heights, from which he is able to see red-winged blackbirds flying past, “airplanes drawing curly-cues,” and “wispy white clouds.” His obsession draws unwelcome attention from passing schoolchildren, who mock his constant bouncing. “Can’t you do anything else?” they taunt. “He is so weird” The boy’s lack of social connection suggests he may be on the spectrum. Only one child is drawn into his bouncy, magical world, an extremely shy and hesitant little girl named Peaches. She watches him for a long time before he notices her. Finally he realizes that Peaches is not mocking and really wants to know “what you see / up there in that blue, blue sky.” They stare into each other’s eyes and, holding hands, they bounce up and up and up. An unusual tall format, ideal for the vertical subject matter, and Arbona’s bright, quirky postmodern illustrations make this an attractive production. Both children have pale skin; Peaches' eyes are open wide, while Trampoline Boy's appear permanently closed when they aren't obscured by his bangs, which heightens his emotional distance. While the connection between outsiders is warming, it is oblique, as wispy as the clouds they bounce through. Safety-conscious adults will suck their teeth at the trampoline, which does not have even a net around it.

Doesn’t get off the ground. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-77049-830-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Tundra Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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Roller-coaster enthusiasts or not, children will eagerly join our intrepid hero on this entertaining ride.


The Pigeon is on an emotional—and physical—roller coaster.

Since learning about the existence of roller coasters, he’s become giddy with excitement. The Pigeon prepares mentally: He’ll need a ticket and “exemplary patience” to wait in line. He envisions zooming up and down and careening through dizzying turns and loops. Then, he imagines his emotions afterward: exhilaration, post-ride blues, pride at having accomplished such a feat, and enthusiasm at the prospect of riding again. (He’ll also feel dizzy and nauseous.) All this before the Pigeon ever sets claw on an actual coaster. So…will he really try it? Are roller coasters fun? When the moment comes, everything seems to go according to plan: waiting in line, settling into the little car, THEN—off he goes! Though the ride itself isn’t quite what the Pigeon expected, it will delight readers. Wearing his feelings on his wing and speaking directly to the audience in first person, the Pigeon describes realistic thoughts and emotions about waiting and guessing about the unknown—common childhood experiences. No sentiment is misplaced; kids will relate to Pigeon’s eagerness and apprehension. The ending falls somewhat flat, but the whole humorous point is that an underwhelming adventure can still be thrilling enough to warrant repeating. Willems’ trademark droll illustrations will have readers giggling. The roller-coaster attendant is light-skinned. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Roller-coaster enthusiasts or not, children will eagerly join our intrepid hero on this entertaining ride. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-4549-4686-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Union Square Kids

Review Posted Online: June 8, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2022

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A winning tale about finding new friends.


Bear finds a wonderful toy.

Bear clearly loves the toy bunny that he has found sitting up against a tree in the forest, but he wants to help it return to its home. With a wagon full of fliers and the bunny secure in Bear’s backpack, he festoons the trees with posters and checks out a bulletin board filled with lost and found objects (some of which will bring a chuckle to adult readers). Alas, he returns home still worried about bunny. The following day, they happily play together and ride Bear’s tricycle. Into the cozy little picture steps Moose, who immediately recognizes his bunny, named Floppy. Bear has a tear in his eye as he watches Moose and Floppy hug. But Moose, wearing a tie, is clearly grown and knows that it is time to share and that Bear will take very good care of his Floppy. Yoon’s story is sweet without being sentimental. She uses digitized artwork in saturated colors to create a lovely little world for her animals. They are outlined in strong black lines and stand out against the yellows, blues, greens and oranges of the background. She also uses space to great effect, allowing readers to feel the emotional tug of the story.

A winning tale about finding new friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8027-3559-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2014

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