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MESSY JESSE

A lighthearted story that toddlers will relate to.

A picture book about the joys of messy play. 

Jesse is a high-spirited dog who loves to make things—paper hats, cakes and blanket forts—and the outcome of all this creative play is an astoundingly messy room. Eventually, even Jesse disappears into the clutter. The other pets in the household—Rabbit, Cat and Hamster—go looking for him in the pile, but they too become lost to view. In time, everything gets sorted out, and the room is tidied up, which allows Jesse more opportunity to create—and make another mess. This is the story’s greatest appeal; it lets the little ones in on the joke of making a mess, cleaning it up and then realizing that now they have more room to make another mess. Bowles does a good job of matching text to illustrations and varying the illustrative format on the pages. However, many of the illustrations lack the underlying geometry to lead the eyes to a page turn, and this makes the flow of the story more static than it ought to be. The loosely rendered, brightly colored watercolors are cheerful, and the variably sized type is an effective visual prompt for read-aloud readers.

A lighthearted story that toddlers will relate to. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-58925-133-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S HALLOWEEN

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.

A lift-the-flap book gives the littlest trick-or-treaters some practice identifying partygoers under their costumes.

Little Blue Truck and his buddy Toad are off to a party, and they invite readers (and a black cat) along for the ride: “ ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ / says Little Blue. / ‘It’s Halloween!’ / You come, too.” As they drive, they are surprised (and joined) by many of their friends in costume. “Who’s that in a tutu / striking a pose / up on the tiniest / tips of her toes? / Under the mask / who do you see?” Lifting the flap unmasks a friend: “ ‘Quack!’ says the duck. / ‘It’s me! It’s me!’ ” The sheep is disguised as a clown, the cow’s a queen, the pig’s a witch, the hen and her chick are pirates, and the horse is a dragon. Not to be left out, Little Blue has a costume, too. The flaps are large and sturdy, and enough of the animals’ characteristic features are visible under and around the costumes that little ones will be able to make successful guesses even on the first reading. Lovely curvy shapes and autumn colors fade to dusky blues as night falls, and children are sure to notice the traditional elements of a Halloween party: apple bobbing, lit jack-o’-lanterns, and punch and treats.

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-77253-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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LITTLE OWL'S NIGHT

Little Owl loves the night forest. He can’t imagine a better place. He glides from friend to friend, watching and listening....

A graceful bedtime story celebrates the beauty found in night.

Little Owl loves the night forest. He can’t imagine a better place. He glides from friend to friend, watching and listening. Hedgehog snuffles for mushrooms. Turtle hides in her shell as fireflies dot the sky. But try as he might, Little Owl cannot wake Bear inside the Grumbly Cave. He snores soundly. But what if the bear has never seen stars? As morning draws near, Little Owl settles in on his branch and whispers softly to his mother, “[T]ell me again how night ends.” “Spiderwebs turn to silver threads,” she begins. “The sky brightens from black to blue, blue to red, red to gold.” But Little Owl does not hear. His wide, innocent green eyes have already shut tight. Srinivasan’s picture-book debut beckons readers to follow this curiously adorable creature through the sky. The moon and stars illuminate the dark background, and a flat palette of black, greens and browns blankets the forest in quiet stillness. More lyrical than linear, the story flits from one animal to the next. But readers won’t mind.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-670-01295-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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