A story whose message of joie de vivre, especially in adverse situations, is worthwhile; however, it lacks the fresh...

BOB AND JOSS TAKE A HIKE!

Laid-back Joss and uptight Bob are back; this time the two white friends are on a hike in the woods.

Relaxed Joss and buttoned-up Bob are camping. Bob (pacing in a circle while Joss roasts marshmallows—an illustrative setup that clues readers in to their personality types right away) says camping is boring. Joss suggests a hike. The two set off and immediately get lost. Illustrator Vogel sticks to the obvious as he shows stressed-out Bob with lots of buzzing insects and bug bites while easygoing Joss communes with bluebirds and butterflies. The story follows the same thematic arc as the first book (Bob and Joss Get Lost, 2017): Bob worries and panics, and Joss points out the beauty around them and the opportunities for play, wonder, and appreciation. But this time around the story labors, exemplified by Joss’ worn chicken-soup-for-the-soul–like observations: “If we hadn’t gotten lost, we wouldn’t be here”; “The right one is the right one.” The hidden location-markers joke in this story is the elevation note tabs on the tops of the pages, but they don’t complete the story nearly as precisely or satisfyingly as the GPS coordinates in the first book.

A story whose message of joie de vivre, especially in adverse situations, is worthwhile; however, it lacks the fresh cleverness of the first book. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 23, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-241532-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2017

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A handsome edition of an old favorite.

WE'RE GOING ON A BEAR HUNT

The familiar cumulative game is played by four children, along with their father and their dog, at the typically British beach pictured on the lovely, expansive first endpaper. 

The children's real activities are shown in b&w drawings; the imaginative doings appear in full color. Although some of the color pages show perfectly possible events, most are clearly fantasy, suggesting just how close the two may be in children's minds. The family ends up in safe retreat in one big cozy bed; the bear is seen--on the second essential, beautiful endpaper--headed into a gloomy sea. Oxenbury's splendid watercolors and drawings perfectly evoke both landscape and the members of the questing family. 

A handsome edition of an old favorite. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 1989

ISBN: 978-0-689-50476-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1989

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Watching unlikely friends finally be as “happy as two someones can be” feels like being enveloped in your very own hug.

THE HUG

What to do when you’re a prickly animal hankering for a hug? Why, find another misfit animal also searching for an embrace!

Sweet but “tricky to hug” little Hedgehog is down in the dumps. Wandering the forest, Hedgehog begs different animals for hugs, but each rejects them. Readers will giggle at their panicked excuses—an evasive squirrel must suddenly count its three measly acorns; a magpie begins a drawn-out song—but will also be indignant on poor hedgehog’s behalf. Hedgehog has the appealingly pink-cheeked softness typical of Dunbar’s art, and the gentle watercolors are nonthreatening, though she also captures the animals’ genuine concern about being poked. A wise owl counsels the dejected hedgehog that while the prickles may frighten some, “there’s someone for everyone.” That’s when Hedgehog spots a similarly lonely tortoise, rejected due to its “very hard” shell but perfectly matched for a spiky new friend. They race toward each other until the glorious meeting, marked with swoony peach swirls and overjoyed grins. At this point, readers flip the book to hear the same gloomy tale from the tortoise’s perspective until it again culminates in that joyous hug, a book turn that’s made a pleasure with thick creamy paper and solid binding.

Watching unlikely friends finally be as “happy as two someones can be” feels like being enveloped in your very own hug. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-571-34875-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Faber & Faber

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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