Find Pig and Goose a place on the friendship shelf with the likes of Frog and Toad, Elephant and Piggie, and Houndsley and...

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PIG & GOOSE AND THE FIRST DAY OF SPRING

An unlikely friendship between a portly pig and a graceful goose blooms in a springtime story infused with compassion and gentle humor.

When Pig observes Goose’s grace in flight, she asks the fowl to teach her. Pig’s attempts at flying are laugh-out-loud funny, but it's a shared laugh, not at either character's expense. Despite their considerable differences, the two charmingly anthropomorphic animals become friends. “Goody gumdrops!” sums up Pig's perennially positive attitude, so her disappointment when she cannot learn to fly like Goose is palpable. Her amazement at Goose's ability to swim is equally believable, causing her to rue that she is not “elegant,” “graceful,” or “quiet,” like Goose. Goose graciously points out that Pig is “other things.” Goose is gratifyingly appreciative of Pig's delicious cooking, her skills as a hostess and raconteur, and her infectious enthusiasm for picnics and parties. Bond breaks the fairly extensive text into three chapters, making the story feel approachable while giving new readers a sense of accomplishment. Simple, repetitive vocabulary and no more than eight lines of text per page help make the story accessible. With 48 pages and an on-the-large-side 7-by-9-inch trim size, the book leaves plenty of space for Bond's expressive watercolor illustrations on every page.

Find Pig and Goose a place on the friendship shelf with the likes of Frog and Toad, Elephant and Piggie, and Houndsley and Catina. (Early reader. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-58089-594-1

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2017

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The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless.

THE WORLD NEEDS MORE PURPLE PEOPLE

A monohued tally of positive character traits.

Purple is a “magic color,” affirm the authors (both actors, though Hart’s name recognition is nowhere near the level of Bell’s), and “purple people” are the sort who ask questions, laugh wholeheartedly, work hard, freely voice feelings and opinions, help those who might “lose” their own voices in the face of unkindness, and, in sum, can “JUST BE (the real) YOU.” Unlike the obsessive protagonist of Victoria Kann’s Pinkalicious franchise, being a purple person has “nothing to do with what you look like”—a point that Wiseman underscores with scenes of exuberantly posed cartoon figures (including versions of the authors) in casual North American attire but sporting a wide range of ages, skin hues, and body types. A crowded playground at the close (no social distancing here) displays all this wholesome behavior in action. Plenty of purple highlights, plus a plethora of broad smiles and wide-open mouths, crank up the visual energy—and if the earnest overall tone doesn’t snag the attention of young audiences, a grossly literal view of the young narrator and a grandparent “snot-out-our-nose laughing” should do the trick. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.4-by-20.6-inch double-page spreads viewed at 22.2% of actual size.)

The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12196-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

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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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