Odd-couple stories are far from an endangered species, but this one’s worth making room for.

GOOD NIGHT, BAT! GOOD MORNING, SQUIRREL!

Homeless Bat moves in, unannounced, with Squirrel. Can this odd couple live together in peace?

When Bat loses his home, he first tries an attic full of bats, who are too crowded to accept him. The fox, the skunk, and a nest of birds all turn him down as well. And he can’t quite fit under a large mushroom. Then Bat notices a bunch of leaves lodged in a tree, with a small opening. Inside, he finds a cozy place to sleep. (He doesn’t even notice Squirrel sleeping soundly nearby.) When Squirrel wakes up, she’s startled to see a sleeping bat hanging from her ceiling, so fast asleep he can’t be woken. Squirrel leaves a polite note, drawn in pencil on a big brown leaf, before she sets off to hide acorns. Bat’s written answer is equally polite. But, given the nature of their respective sleep cycles, the two don't see each other for days. More notes follow; when Squirrel writes a note telling Bat to leave, Bat responds by adding more “leaves” to the cozy home. It takes a while, but Squirrel finally realizes she wants a friend, and Bat’s happy to be that. Meisel’s plot moves in appealing increments, stressing the importance not only of friendship, but also of courtesy; the epistolary relationship is an added bonus. His rich palette and expressively drawn animals add warmth to an important message.

Odd-couple stories are far from an endangered species, but this one’s worth making room for. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62979-495-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Uplifting and inspiring of further research.

SEÑORITA MARIPOSA

A bilingual love poem of admiration and respect for the millions of monarch butterflies that journey south to Mexico every year.

From a chrysalis on the title page, Señorita Mariposa invites readers to follow the monarch butterfly as it embarks on a journey spanning thousands of miles, “Over mountains capped with snow… / To the deserts down below.” In the same manner, the monarch butterfly exiting the chrysalis at the end of the book then invites readers to flip back to the beginning and restart the journey. Almada Rivero’s warm and friendly illustrations showcase the various people and animals the monarch encounters in its 3,000-mile journey, including a couple of brown-skinned children who welcome Señorita Mariposa to Mexico as the text reads, “Can’t believe how far you’ve come.” Gundersheimer’s recounting of the lepidoptera’s journey is told in a bilingual poem, English set in a serif type and Spanish set in sans-serif. Like the butterfly traveling south and north, the languages switch prominence, displaying in the larger font the principal—and rhyming—language in each spread. Although at times distracting, this technique is a valiant attempt to give equal importance to each language. Backmatter includes facts on the round trip the butterflies undertake, the “super generation” that makes the trek south, and a call to action to protect the monarchs as they slowly lose their habitats.

Uplifting and inspiring of further research. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-4070-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Who ya gonna call? A different snowplow book.

SCOOPER AND DUMPER

Friends don’t let friends expire in snowdrifts.

Convoluted storytelling and confusing art turn a cute premise into a mishmash of a book. Scooper’s a front loader that works in the town salt yard, replenishing the snowplows that arrive. Dumper’s her best friend, more than happy to plow and salt the roads himself. When the big city calls in Dumper to help with a snow squall, he brushes off Scooper’s concerns. Yet slippery roads and a seven-vehicle pileup launch poor Dumper onto his side in a snowbank. Can Scooper overcome fears that she’s too slow and save the day? Following a plot as succinct as this should be a breeze, but the rhyming text obfuscates more than it clarifies. Lines such as, “Dumper’s here— / let’s rock ’n’ roll! / Big city’s callin’ for / some small-town soul” can prove impenetrable. The art of the book matches this confusion, with light-blue Dumper often hard to pick out among other, similarly colored vehicles, particularly in the snowstorm. Speech bubbles, as when the city calls for Scooper’s and Dumper’s help, lead to a great deal of visual confusion. Scooper is also featured sporting long eyelashes and a bow, lest anyone mistake the dithering, frightened truck as anything but female. (This book was reviewed digitally with 11-by-17-inch double-page spreads viewed at 16.8% of actual size.)

Who ya gonna call? A different snowplow book. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5420-9268-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more