Repetition and counting offer satisfying predictability that will keep young readers turning the sturdy pages.

READ REVIEW

THE CHRISTMAS TREE

From the Pip and Posy series

The sweet, round-eyed bunny-and-mouse duo are back for a new adventure in this familiar series for the very young (The New Friend, 2017, etc.).

Cheery, horizontal, red-and-white stripes on the endpapers hint at the Christmas theme within. The plot is simple. Pip and Posy pick out a tree to decorate for Christmas. After putting it up at home, they hang candy canes, chocolate bells, and homemade cookies. When Posy’s back is turned, Pip starts to play tricks on Posy, eating the ornaments one by one. When they have all disappeared, Posy is distraught—and Pip heads to the couch to lie down. Although Posy eventually cottons on to him, she doesn’t reveal that she knows what he’s done until Pip apologizes. Together they find a solution to keep Pip from succumbing to his sweet tooth, and all is well. Visual and behavioral cues peg Pip as male and Posy as female. Pip is the taller, rascally one wearing pants while the shorter, calmer Posy wears a skirt and takes the role as caregiver, with an almost adult demeanor. Very appealing illustrations are in gouache; clean, clear images on lots of white space and large type make this an equally nice fit for reading out loud and beginning readers.

Repetition and counting offer satisfying predictability that will keep young readers turning the sturdy pages. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 25, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0276-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 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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A sweet cetacean story.

THE HEART OF A WHALE

The flora and fauna of the ocean respond to a lonely whale’s beautiful music by helping him find another whale.

“Whale’s song was so beautiful it could reach the farthest of faraways.” Over a double-page spread, a simply drawn white whale—detailed with a large eye, a small mouth and fins, and a small lavender heart—swims past a variety of pastel-hued sea denizens. The lyrical text is set in type that emulates hand-lettering. Watercolors are the appropriate choice for a tale that occurs in a sea full of creatures—with an occasional glimpse of land and sky as well as a cheerfully colored sailboat and lighthouse. Collage, pencil sketching, and washes produce a dreamlike effect that also feels sweetly humorous. A double-page spread of sea horses lounging atop spirited jellyfish is especially whimsical. Musical terms are cleverly used to describe the singing whale’s positive effects on others (“a cheerful symphony for a sad urchin”). After several pages of poetic lines about the talented singer, readers learn that his heart feels “empty.” The ocean carries his sighing wish across miles of lovingly rendered sea habitats until the solo becomes a duet. Although the flap copy speaks of friendship, even the youngest of readers will sense that this is a whale of a romance. Beneath its warmth is a poignant reminder of the loss to all if whale songs become history.

A sweet cetacean story. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Jan. 28, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-984-83627-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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