Amos McGee is back, right on time.

AMOS MCGEE MISSES THE BUS

A welcome return of the kindly, Caldecott-winning zookeeper and his animal friends.

As in A Sick Day for Amos McGee(2010), the gentle zookeeper ends up receiving care from the very animals he tends. The stories’ shared sentiment of mutual responsibility and care is one well worth repeating, and here it’s delivered in a book that stands on its own but benefits from familiarity with the original. This time, Amos McGee doesn’t need the animals’ help because he’s sick; instead, they come to his aid after a series of mishaps caused by his excitement about a planned outing. At the beginning of the story, the gangly, White zookeeper’s happy anticipation keeps him awake at night in a homey setting that will be familiar to readers of the first book, with its yellow-striped wallpaper and quaint furnishings. Overtired the next day, he dozes at the breakfast table and misses the bus. In his subsequent rush to the zoo, poor, groggy Amos McGee loses his satchel and a favorite hat. Once there, he’s so worn out that he literally falls asleep on the job. This is when the animals pick up the slack, with Philp C. Stead’s understated text detailing the responsibilities they earnestly assume, while Erin E. Stead’s sensitive, warm illustrations infuse subtle humor into the scenes. Pages depicting a tortoise’s earnest perambulation are perfectly paced. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Amos McGee is back, right on time. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 23, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-21322-8

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2021

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Safe to creep on by.

LOVE FROM THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR

Carle’s famous caterpillar expresses its love.

In three sentences that stretch out over most of the book’s 32 pages, the (here, at least) not-so-ravenous larva first describes the object of its love, then describes how that loved one makes it feel before concluding, “That’s why… / I[heart]U.” There is little original in either visual or textual content, much of it mined from The Very Hungry Caterpillar. “You are… / …so sweet,” proclaims the caterpillar as it crawls through the hole it’s munched in a strawberry; “…the cherry on my cake,” it says as it perches on the familiar square of chocolate cake; “…the apple of my eye,” it announces as it emerges from an apple. Images familiar from other works join the smiling sun that shone down on the caterpillar as it delivers assurances that “you make… / …the sun shine brighter / …the stars sparkle,” and so on. The book is small, only 7 inches high and 5 ¾ inches across when closed—probably not coincidentally about the size of a greeting card. While generations of children have grown up with the ravenous caterpillar, this collection of Carle imagery and platitudinous sentiment has little of his classic’s charm. The melding of Carle’s caterpillar with Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE on the book’s cover, alas, draws further attention to its derivative nature.

Safe to creep on by. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-448-48932-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2021

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A winning tale about finding new friends.

FOUND

Bear finds a wonderful toy.

Bear clearly loves the toy bunny that he has found sitting up against a tree in the forest, but he wants to help it return to its home. With a wagon full of fliers and the bunny secure in Bear’s backpack, he festoons the trees with posters and checks out a bulletin board filled with lost and found objects (some of which will bring a chuckle to adult readers). Alas, he returns home still worried about bunny. The following day, they happily play together and ride Bear’s tricycle. Into the cozy little picture steps Moose, who immediately recognizes his bunny, named Floppy. Bear has a tear in his eye as he watches Moose and Floppy hug. But Moose, wearing a tie, is clearly grown and knows that it is time to share and that Bear will take very good care of his Floppy. Yoon’s story is sweet without being sentimental. She uses digitized artwork in saturated colors to create a lovely little world for her animals. They are outlined in strong black lines and stand out against the yellows, blues, greens and oranges of the background. She also uses space to great effect, allowing readers to feel the emotional tug of the story.

A winning tale about finding new friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8027-3559-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2014

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