Families that enjoy repetitive songs, such as “The Wheels on the Bus,” will be glad to throw this fruit-eating space...

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Fred Pinsocket Loves Bananas

A spaceman boldly proclaims his love for Earth’s appealing yellow fruit in this board-book debut by singer/songwriter Apel.

Fred Pinsocket flies a rocket around the universe, plays keytar and drums, and has a passion for bananas. The rhymes here are the lyrics to Apel’s song of the same title, which he offers as a free download with the purchase of the book. The lyrics are silly enough without the music, but with the tune and sound effects, children will be sure to enjoy it; as a result, they’ll likely want to play the music and read the book repeatedly. Fred, with his bulbous nose, enormous eyes, red spacesuit, and blue helmet with a satellite dish on top, is a likable little guy, and creative, early-grade readers who pick up this book may even attempt their own drawings of him. Very young readers will enjoy the repeated phrases: “I love bananas. I love them. Yum! Yum! Yum!” The rhyme scheme is steady throughout, with the addition of extra phrases that make better sense with the instrumentation. The only challenging words are Fred’s last name and “potassium”—but even if kids don’t know what the latter means, they’re still likely to sing or repeat the word, as it rhymes with “yum.” The board book’s sturdy pages, with their brightly colored backgrounds, will hold up to the rereadings that 3- to 5-year-olds may require. Adults may not be as excited about repeating the same lyrics again and again, particularly when the sparse word count includes four repetitions of the chorus. Young readers, however, will giggle over and over again, and the images of Fred’s rocket towing a ball of bananas will bring a smile to even the stingiest adult’s face.

Families that enjoy repetitive songs, such as “The Wheels on the Bus,” will be glad to throw this fruit-eating space traveler into their mix.

Pub Date: April 28, 2015

ISBN: 978-0990794103

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Fred Pinsocket Productions

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

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BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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THE LORAX

The greening of Dr. Seuss, in an ecology fable with an obvious message but a savingly silly style. In the desolate land of the Lifted Lorax, an aged creature called the Once-ler tells a young visitor how he arrived long ago in the then glorious country and began manufacturing anomalous objects called Thneeds from "the bright-colored tufts of the Truffula Trees." Despite protests from the Lorax, a native "who speaks for the trees," he continues to chop down Truffulas until he drives away the Brown Bar-ba-loots who had fed on the Tuffula fruit, the Swomee-Swans who can't sing a note for the smogulous smoke, and the Humming-Fish who had hummed in the pond now glumped up with Gluppity-Glupp. As for the Once-let, "1 went right on biggering, selling more Thneeds./ And I biggered my money, which everyone needs" — until the last Truffula falls. But one seed is left, and the Once-let hands it to his listener, with a message from the Lorax: "UNLESS someone like you/ cares a whole awful lot,/ nothing is going to get better./ It's not." The spontaneous madness of the old Dr. Seuss is absent here, but so is the boredom he often induced (in parents, anyway) with one ridiculous invention after another. And if the Once-let doesn't match the Grinch for sheer irresistible cussedness, he is stealing a lot more than Christmas and his story just might induce a generation of six-year-olds to care a whole lot.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 1971

ISBN: 0394823370

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1971

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