A delightful and helpful treatment of a somewhat taboo topic.

READ REVIEW

SOMETIMES YOU BARF

Everything you ever wanted to know about throwing up...and why you shouldn’t be embarrassed.

A little girl and her dog, Archie, take readers through this primer. Everybody barfs once in a while, she says, and illustrates her point with a veritable zoo of barfing animals, from aardvark to platypus. (In this book, when something or someone is about to barf, its face gets amusingly green, except for lizards, which get pink.) When a dog barfs, it gives plenty of warning—and after it does, you might find something you’ve been looking for, like a missing sock. The flu could cause you to barf, and if it happens at school, better hope you do it on a math test. It summons the janitor in a hazmat suit for cleanup with his “special barf cleanup machine” and sends you home to a barf bucket. Once you’re eating solid food, it’s back to school! Everybody welcomes you warmly, and it turns into a great day...except for that math test you have to retake. Maybe if you manage to barf again...? Another page of green-faced barfers—clown, caterpillar, leprechaun, etc.—and the little girl recaps. Archie barfs again, and she finds her other sock! Carlson’s cartoons are as goofily gross as the text, but they exert a sort of cute fascination anyway.

A delightful and helpful treatment of a somewhat taboo topic. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4677-1412-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Carolrhoda

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2014

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

HEY, DUCK!

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. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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Mr. Fish’s fans can chase away any holiday “dreary-wearies” with this latest entry in the series, though it’s more likely to...

THE NOT VERY MERRY POUT-POUT FISH

From the Pout-Pout Fish series

The perennially popular pout-pout fish is back with a new problem: how to find perfect gifts for all his friends.

Mr. Fish wears a “yuletide pout” in this holiday season because of his extensive shopping expectations. He wants his gifts to have “bling-zing,” to be big, bright, and perfect, “guaranteed to bring delight.” He shops till he plops but leaves the mall empty-handed “in a bout of pout-doubt.” His wise friend Miss Shimmer saves the day, with lots of craft supplies and advice about how to make his own presents “with his very own fins!” Mr. Fish finds that his simple, handmade gifts do meet his high expectations and that the camaraderie and goodwill shared with friends are the really meaningful gifts of the season. In addition to the wordplay, the text offers a calming, sensible approach to holiday gift giving with reinforcement of the value of handmade gifts. Hanna’s detailed illustrations of Mr. Fish’s watery world are filled with funny details, as when the sea creatures all hold one another’s tentacles as they celebrate the holiday. A holiday highlight is the arrival of Manta Claus, pulled in his sleigh by sea horses, of course.

Mr. Fish’s fans can chase away any holiday “dreary-wearies” with this latest entry in the series, though it’s more likely to be adults who face the holiday shopping quandary than children. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-374-35549-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2015

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