This series opener is a successful combination of etiquette book and airplane cookery: who’d have thunk it? (Informational...



From the Bad Idea Book Club series

A man ate an airplane. This is true. Though this is not his story, Pearson uses it to ground a surprisingly informative book about the technology (and etiquette).

As Pearson explains at the closure of this crazy business, a gentleman by the name of Michel Lotito ate a Cessna 150, which, granted, is not a Boeing 747, but even so....In the book proper he gives this curious act a suitable touch of insanity, graced with Emily Post–like commands on the proper etiquette of airplane-eating. The best venue is a party (for a little help from your friends). Your invitees must be sent tickets of invitation and then met at the gate. Serve jet-fuel aperitifs to wash down the crunchy mechanical canapes. Pearson tosses in some humdinger words—aileron, fuselage, the Tardiness Toast: "To friends and clocks and paradox. / I'm usually on time. Oops"—but he makes them go down even easier than Cessna 150 parts. Meanwhile, Catusanu's artwork is full of hard-candy color, inviting and playful, with a relatively diverse cast of human characters among the partygoers and even a dog and a cat. Even the "Airplane Facts" at the end of the book are designed to both amuse and instruct. "Planes are heavy. Just the paint on a commercial airliner weighs between 400 and 1,000 pounds!"

This series opener is a successful combination of etiquette book and airplane cookery: who’d have thunk it? (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 24, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-232062-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2016

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A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends


From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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Eggs-quisitely excellent.


Being a good egg can be eggs-cruciatingly stressful.

This earnest counterpart to John and Oswald’s hilarious The Bad Seed (2017) opens with a direct address from an oval-shaped saint to readers: “Oh, hello! I was just rescuing this cat. Know why? Because I’m a good egg.” Just how good is this egg? “Verrrrrry good.” Without hesitation, the bespectacled egg offers to help others with carrying groceries, painting houses, and changing tires. The good egg even tries to “keep the peace” among the other 11 eggs in its dozen, who forgo their bedtime, eat sugary cereal, and break stuff. Rotten eggs indeed! When the pressure of being good proves too much, the beleaguered egg embarks on a journey of self-care. John embeds a seed of a great idea—finding a balance between personal and social responsibility—within a rip-roaring, touching narrative. Despite his sober narrator, the author’s sense of humor remains intact thanks to some clever (and punny) wordplay. Likewise, Oswald’s digitally composed, bright artwork pops with rib-tickling close-ups and character-building moments. Both text and art complement each other perfectly. Too long alone, the protagonist heads back to its rowdy family, imparting a slice of wisdom to readers: “I’ll be good to my fellow eggs while also being good to myself.” It’s an empowering moment made all the better when this good egg returns to find a rapturous welcome from the others.

Eggs-quisitely excellent. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-286600-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2018

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