A good choice for budding philosophers.

READ REVIEW

THE HOLE STORY

A first step into the world of ontology, picture-book style!

Two holes, Hamish and Hermione, try to find a new home when their Swiss cheese is eaten by mice. With nowhere now to live and wishing to be “useful,” they leave the “dreary kitchen” of the royal palace to search for other meaningful locales. The king does not appreciate Hamish’s new location on his sock. Hermione chooses the queen’s knickers, and she is equally distressed. Remember, they are holes. Their choices spiral into a comedy of errors as bike tires deflate, boats sink, and balloons burst. “Everyone thinks we are a nuisance,” says a frustrated yet confident Hamish. “But holes can be useful too.” Ingman’s hand-painted blotches of color show a surprising array of emotions with just two eyes and a mouth each, an occasional blushing cheek, and stick arms and legs. These two characters (portrayed as corporeal even though holes are defined as “nothing”) change color to match their surroundings, like chameleons. They are most frequently portrayed running away, Gingerbread Man–style, from surprised royalty and castle staff, all white. Will they ever find a place to call home? What objects need holes? Bright’s text deftly captures the quest for and fulfillment of true usefulness while allowing for more complex subtleties to percolate.

A good choice for budding philosophers. (Picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5124-3950-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Andersen Press USA

Review Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2017

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Thank you, Gerald and Piggie. We’ll miss you

THE THANK YOU BOOK

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Piggie is “one lucky pig,” and she’s determined to make sure she thanks “everyone who is important to” her in this, the final Elephant & Piggie book.

Gerald is sure his friend will forget someone—“someone important”—but Piggie assures him, “It will be a THANK-O-RAMA!” Piggie proceeds to thank the Squirrels for their great ideas, Snake for playing ball, and the Pigeon “for never giving up.” Piggie thanks and thanks: “I am a thanking machine!” She thanks character after character, even the Flies (“Any time, dude!”), as Gerald continues to interject that she’ll forget “someone VERY important.” Finally Piggie runs out of thanks, and by this time Gerald is steamed. “I goofed,” Piggie says in itty-bitty type, before lavishing thanks on Gerald. But that’s not whom Piggie forgot to thank! A classic Willems tantrum later, Gerald reveals the “someone important”: “Our reader.” Of course. “We could not be ‘us’ without you,” says Gerald, earnestly looking out from the page, and Piggie chimes in, “You are the best!” As Elephant & Piggie books go, this isn’t one of the strongest, but it is a validating valediction to fans of the two characters, who have won Willems two Geisel Medals and five Honors. Yes, Gerald and Piggie have ushered countless readers into literacy, but as they rightly note, reading is a collaborative act.

Thank you, Gerald and Piggie. We’ll miss you . (Early reader. 5-8)

Pub Date: May 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4231-7828-6

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2016

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While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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