Dr. Seuss has already explored most of the places he’ll go, but there’s always room for another heads-up that adulthood’s...

POMELO BEGINS TO GROW

A tiny pink “garden elephant” has a mighty epiphany in this buoyant, if sometimes oblique, French import.

Suddenly realizing that he’s taller than an ant, Pomelo “feels the super-hyper-extra force of the cosmos spreading through him. And maybe something even stronger that that!” Whatever it is, it touches off a series of Big Questions, from wondering “what has to happen on the inside for him to grow on the outside” and “does growing up mean one has to stop clowning around?” to whether he’s already “forgotten something along the way.” Now he looks forward to new experiences, and “want’s [sic] to know more” about everything. Endowed with googly eyes and a really long trunk that looks like (and seems about the size of) a wriggly earthworm, Pomelo broadcasts his excitement as he bounces through Chaud’s big, very simply drawn cartoon garden scenes. He paints strawberries to look like Easter eggs, takes a mud bath with a corps of smiling bright red-and-yellow potatoes, tries new foods like hot peppers (and, on another page, even sushi) and at last marches off in search of a big adventure after “learning to say ‘goodbye’ and being able to hear others say it too.”

Dr. Seuss has already explored most of the places he’ll go, but there’s always room for another heads-up that adulthood’s coming—particularly one that doesn’t take itself too seriously. (Picture book. 6-9, graduates, adults)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-59270-111-7

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books

Review Posted Online: June 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2011

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

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

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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Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably...

LOST AND FOUND

A lad finds a penguin on his doorstep and resolutely sets out to return it in this briefly told import. 

Eventually, he ends up rowing it all the way back to Antarctica, braving waves and storms, filling in the time by telling it stories. But then, feeling lonely after he drops his silent charge off, he belatedly realizes that it was probably lonely too, and turns back to find it. Seeing Jeffers’s small, distant figures in wide, simply brushed land- and sea-scapes, young viewers will probably cotton to the penguin’s feelings before the boy himself does—but all’s well that ends well, and the reunited companions are last seen adrift together in the wide blue sea. 

Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably with this—slightly—less offbeat friendship tale. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-399-24503-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

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