The glib ending notwithstanding, Mary's humorous tactics make her one of the more appealing barnyard brats around.

SCARY MARY

Animals fly the coop when Scary Mary ruffles her feathers.

Though small in stature, this diva proves she is the bossiest chicken around. She squawks with a vengeance, hoards sunflower seeds and padlocks the gate. Her makeshift signs pull no punches (“Go Away”; “Keep Out”). Though her neighbors invite her to join them, Mary has no interest in playing nice. Her feather-flapping tantrums succeed in preserving her solitude—but at a cost. Her futile attempts at self-entertainment (checkers is not a solitary game) leave her contrite, and she pursues rapprochement with her neighbors. Dialogue bubbles interspersed with descriptive phrases carry the story along in jolly style, though the playful tone turns sour with a final didactic statement: “Because it was much more fun to do things … / together!” Bowles' dynamic portrayal of this fowl with a temper makes Mary an engaging queen of the barn. Splashes of golden feathers dance with robust red accents. Scraggly chicken-scratches define each defiant cluck. Mary throws herself into each fit with abandon (complete with wattle-shaking screams) and then looks for a reaction. When the gang disappears, Mary throws her beak between her legs in search of an audience.

The glib ending notwithstanding, Mary's humorous tactics make her one of the more appealing barnyard brats around. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-58925-110-6

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2012

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer.

PEPPA'S GIANT PUMPKIN

From the Peppa Pig series

Peppa hopes to join her classmates in a Halloween pumpkin competition in this adaptation of a story from the popular British television program Peppa Pig.

With the help of Granny and Grandpa Pig, Peppa turns her giant pumpkin, which is the size of a compact car, into a jack-o’-lantern. The trio is flummoxed when it comes time to transport the pumpkin to the competition, so they call on Miss Rabbit and her helicopter to airlift the pumpkin to the festivities as Peppa and her grandparents ride inside. Peppa arrives just in time for the contest and wins the prize for best flying pumpkin. The scenes look as if they are pulled directly from the television show, right down to the rectangular framing of some of the scenes. While the story is literally nothing new, the text is serviceable, describing the action in two to three sentences per page. The pumpkin-shaped book and orange foil cover will likely attract youngsters, whether they are Peppa fans or not.

This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-33922-2

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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