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DO YOU LIKE MY BIKE?

From the Hello, Hedgehog series , Vol. 1

A fun addition to a young reader’s collection

In this debut to the Hello, Hedgehog series, the titular hedgehog and a friend have fun on their bikes together.

Divided up into three chapters, this graphic early reader starts with Hedgehog looking all over for his helmet only to realize he left it in the easiest-to-remember place possible. In the second chapter readers meet Hedgehog’s friend Harry, who looks like a guinea pig (but is never identified as such; nor is Harry gendered, unlike Hedgehog.). Harry is timid compared to bold Hedgehog, afraid of the bike’s speed, and embarrassed at their continued reliance on training wheels. The third chapter concludes with the healthy-snack–filled aftermath of their long bike ride. One drawback is that the chapters are somewhat haphazard in their length; the first is a scant eight pages, the second twice that, and the third is 12 pages, which makes the pacing a bit inconsistent. The effective graphic-novel style will appeal to early readers drawn to that format, and the carefully simple but energetic text will help those readers find success. The story is sweet, almost old-fashioned in its innocence, with basic messages about friendship and empathy. Cartoonist/author Feuti utilizes bright colors, highly emotive facial expressions, and color-coded speech bubbles to keep it kid-friendly and engaging. Also included are a guide to drawing Hedgehog at the back and a story prompt.

A fun addition to a young reader’s collection . (Graphic early reader. 4-6)

Pub Date: April 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-28139-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Acorn/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 15, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

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THE HUGASAURUS

Gently models kindness and respect—positive behavior that can be applied daily.

A group of young “dinosauruses” go out into the world on their own.

A fuchsia little Hugasaurus and her Pappysaur (both of whom resemble Triceratops) have never been apart before, but Hugasaurus happily heads off with lunchbox in hand and “wonder in her heart” to make new friends. The story has a first-day-of-school feeling, but Hugasaurus doesn’t end up in a formal school environment; rather, she finds herself on a playground with other little prehistoric creatures, though no teacher or adult seems to be around. At first, the new friends laugh and play. But Hugasaurus’ pals begin to squabble, and play comes to a halt. As she wonders what to do, a fuzzy platypus playmate asks some wise questions (“What…would your Pappy say to do? / What makes YOU feel better?”), and Hugasaurus decides to give everyone a hug—though she remembers to ask permission first. Slowly, good humor is restored and play begins anew with promises to be slow to anger and, in general, to help create a kinder world. Short rhyming verses occasionally use near rhyme but also include fun pairs like ripples and double-triples. Featuring cozy illustrations of brightly colored creatures, the tale sends a strong message about appropriate and inappropriate ways to resolve conflict, the final pages restating the lesson plainly in a refrain that could become a classroom motto. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Gently models kindness and respect—positive behavior that can be applied daily. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-338-82869-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2022

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PIRATES DON'T TAKE BATHS

Echoes of Runaway Bunny color this exchange between a bath-averse piglet and his patient mother. Using a strategy that would probably be a nonstarter in real life, the mother deflects her stubborn offspring’s string of bath-free occupational conceits with appeals to reason: “Pirates NEVER EVER take baths!” “Pirates don’t get seasick either. But you do.” “Yeesh. I’m an astronaut, okay?” “Well, it is hard to bathe in zero gravity. It’s hard to poop and pee in zero gravity too!” And so on, until Mom’s enticing promise of treasure in the deep sea persuades her little Treasure Hunter to take a dive. Chunky figures surrounded by lots of bright white space in Segal’s minimally detailed watercolors keep the visuals as simple as the plotline. The language isn’t quite as basic, though, and as it rendered entirely in dialogue—Mother Pig’s lines are italicized—adult readers will have to work hard at their vocal characterizations for it to make any sense. Moreover, younger audiences (any audiences, come to that) may wonder what the piggy’s watery closing “EUREKA!!!” is all about too. Not particularly persuasive, but this might coax a few young porkers to get their trotters into the tub. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25425-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2011

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