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THE PERFECT SIESTA

Snoring usually isn’t this much fun.

During the South American jungle’s hot afternoon, the jaguar decides to celebrate a welcome breeze with a nap and instructs a coati to wake him in 10 minutes.

Scared of the jaguar, the coati agrees but, wanting a short snooze himself, enlists a cockatiel to wake him in time to rouse the jaguar. The story builds as the cockatiel, wishing to take part in the midafternoon siesta, brings a sloth into the plan. Alas, the sloth, who can barely stay awake, cannot find anyone to wake her and must keep her eyes open minute by minute. “This was such torture for the poor sloth! / But she had given her word to the cockatiel, / who had promised the coati, / who had promised the jaguar, (who, no one was particularly thrilled to see angry).” Of course, sloth finally dozes off with a snore so loud that it wakes everyone just in time. The story’s repetition creates anticipation for the thunderous surprise ending, which sees the startled animals running away while sloth continues her sonorous slumber. The amusing undertone of the story is enhanced with collage-style artwork resembling large construction-paper cutouts in muted colors. Each animal is native to the region and is depicted with convincingly droopy eyelids. Translated from the original Spanish, this should become a new favorite for multiple readings; kids will enjoy reciting the final countdown of minutes and that explosive, page-filling snore.

Snoring usually isn’t this much fun. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 12, 2017

ISBN: 978-84-945415-3-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: NubeOcho

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

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WHERE IS MAMA?

A POP-UP STORY

A miniodyssey, familiar but elemental, and played out amid plenty of smiles and pop-ups.

An aquatic take on the ever-popular “Are you my mother?” plotline, weak in the natural-history department but fully cozy.

After Mama Frog lays her eggs in some “seaweed” she finds in her pond and goes off to find a lily pad for a home, five big-eyed tadpoles hatch and go in search of her. As they don’t know what she looks like, they accost Mama Duck, Mama Fish, Mama Crab and others. All of these mothers, rather than eat the tadpoles as many would do in real life, indulgently send them along with different descriptions of their real mama. Working with a palette of harmonious greens and grays, Hung crafts serene-looking pondscapes that open with tabs and lifted flaps into spacious, layered tableaux. When Mama Frog’s ribbits lead at last to a joyful meeting, her offspring’s first question is not, considering the storyline, the natural one about why they don’t look anything like her. Instead, they ask her to teach them her froggy song. She promises that once they do change to frogs, “we will sing ‘ribbit, ribbit’ together, all day and night!”

A miniodyssey, familiar but elemental, and played out amid plenty of smiles and pop-ups. (Pop-up/picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 9, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0718-6

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Abrams Appleseed

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2013

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NO MORE BITING FOR BILLY GOAT

A bad habit nipped, so to speak, in the bud.

Afflicted with a bad case of shyness on his first day of school, little Billy Goat—prompted by helpful classmate Ducky—tries to join Bunny, Piggy and Lambkin in play. When his whispered requests don’t get their attention, he resorts to sharper measures…and then again when Piggy objects to his pushy behavior. Once everybody’s crying, Ducky rushes over to demonstrate a more sharing way to play, finally getting all to agree that “Teeth are for biting food, not for biting friends.” Williams suspends stubby-limbed nestlings, depicted with broad crayon and brushstrokes, in white space, and though Billy and Bunny sport similarly rabbitlike ears, the playmates are easy enough to tell apart. Along with Ford’s explanations of what’s going down (“Billy was getting frustrated. So he bit Lambkin on her chubby little arm, really hard”), the range of postures and expressions provide clear cues to the incident’s emotional highs and lows. The morsels of behavioral insight, along with Ducky’s peacemaking, give this as much instructional value for adults as it does for little diaper-wearing beasties. (Picture book. 3-5)

 

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-907967-31-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Boxer Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 25, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2013

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