Little ones will enjoy these jammie-clad jams, though the book may inspire more dancing than snoozing.

READ REVIEW

GO GO GORILLAS

A ROMPING BEDTIME TALE

Zoo gorillas aren’t lazy slugabeds—the secret revealed!

At this zoo, the great apes come at the end, and kids are usually happy to ride on past. “They claim apes are dull. They say, ‘Apes are boring!’ / ‘This one is yawning! And this one is snoring!’ ” After the humans are gone though, the gorillas get up and have a giant feast, capped with a marshmallow roast. Then zookeeper Jungle Jed shoos them to bed…but they don’t stay there. The record albums come out, and the dance-floor lights flash. “Some tango, some Charleston, / one does the fox-trot. / But Baby is old school: / he does the robot!” (Caregivers may find this construction of “old school” mystifying.) Jungle Jed shuts them down, but the sneaky simians resume their party once he’s gone. Jed breaks up their conga line by shaking his fist…and then the rhythm gets him; everyone dances until dawn! Wensink’s first book for children would be just another zoo-after-dark rhyme were it not for Wragg’s bright, bold acrylics. Goofy, grinning gorillas getting their grooves on cavort across the pages. The jewel-toned, full-bleed illustrations resemble cutouts and have charisma to spare.

Little ones will enjoy these jammie-clad jams, though the book may inspire more dancing than snoozing. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-238118-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original...

A KISSING HAND FOR CHESTER RACCOON

From the Kissing Hand series

A sweetened, condensed version of the best-selling picture book, The Kissing Hand.

As in the original, Chester Raccoon is nervous about attending Owl’s night school (raccoons are nocturnal). His mom kisses him on the paw and reminds him, “With a Kissing Hand… / We’ll never be apart.” The text boils the story down to its key elements, causing this version to feel rushed. Gone is the list of fun things Chester will get to do at school. Fans of the original may be disappointed that this board edition uses a different illustrator. Gibson’s work is equally sentimental, but her renderings are stiff and flat in comparison to the watercolors of Harper and Leak. Very young readers will probably not understand that Owl’s tree, filled with opossums, a squirrel, a chipmunk and others, is supposed to be a school.

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original shouldn’t look to this version as replacement for their page-worn copies. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-933718-77-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Tanglewood Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Watching unlikely friends finally be as “happy as two someones can be” feels like being enveloped in your very own hug.

THE HUG

What to do when you’re a prickly animal hankering for a hug? Why, find another misfit animal also searching for an embrace!

Sweet but “tricky to hug” little Hedgehog is down in the dumps. Wandering the forest, Hedgehog begs different animals for hugs, but each rejects them. Readers will giggle at their panicked excuses—an evasive squirrel must suddenly count its three measly acorns; a magpie begins a drawn-out song—but will also be indignant on poor hedgehog’s behalf. Hedgehog has the appealingly pink-cheeked softness typical of Dunbar’s art, and the gentle watercolors are nonthreatening, though she also captures the animals’ genuine concern about being poked. A wise owl counsels the dejected hedgehog that while the prickles may frighten some, “there’s someone for everyone.” That’s when Hedgehog spots a similarly lonely tortoise, rejected due to its “very hard” shell but perfectly matched for a spiky new friend. They race toward each other until the glorious meeting, marked with swoony peach swirls and overjoyed grins. At this point, readers flip the book to hear the same gloomy tale from the tortoise’s perspective until it again culminates in that joyous hug, a book turn that’s made a pleasure with thick creamy paper and solid binding.

Watching unlikely friends finally be as “happy as two someones can be” feels like being enveloped in your very own hug. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-571-34875-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Faber & Faber

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more