A fun introduction to ballet that will also inspire an appreciation for marine life.

A whimsical ballet never before seen above water!

“The stage is set: a sleek, wet glow—Shhh! The dancers take the floor.” Act 1 introduces anemones, squids, turtles, and seahorses as they open the performance of “this gleaming sea ballet” with “an elegant marine routine” complete with swaying, gliding, and spiraling. Then, the corps dancers—tiny crabs—take center stage, scampering, pirouetting, skipping, and soaring. After a grand intermission, Act 2 begins: starfish (“star performers”) dance in formation, with sunbeams for spotlights. As twilight falls, farther out in the ocean, dolphins breach the surface in a dainty dance duet as, under the sea, the aquatic ensemble perform their final encore. Enhanced by poetry in rhyme, this spectacular ocean ballet fairly sings when read aloud; however, the very small font is hard on the eyes. LaTulippe weaves plenty of French and English ballet terms (pas de chat, arabesque, fifth position, etc.) into the text and defines them in a skillfully child-friendly closing glossary. Metzger’s delicate watercolor illustrations use a palette dominated by the trademark elegant pinks of ballet costumes and have all the softness of ballerina tulle.

A fun introduction to ballet that will also inspire an appreciation for marine life. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 8, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-951836-36-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Cameron + Company

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2022


A stocking stuffer par excellence, just right for dishing up with milk and cookies.

Pigeon finds something better to drive than some old bus.

This time it’s Santa delivering the fateful titular words, and with a “Ho. Ho. Whoa!” the badgering begins: “C’mon! Where’s your holiday spirit? It would be a Christmas MIRACLE! Don’t you want to be part of a Christmas miracle…?” Pigeon is determined: “I can do Santa stuff!” Like wrapping gifts (though the accompanying illustration shows a rather untidy present), delivering them (the image of Pigeon attempting to get an oversize sack down a chimney will have little ones giggling), and eating plenty of cookies. Alas, as Willems’ legion of young fans will gleefully predict, not even Pigeon’s by-now well-honed persuasive powers (“I CAN BE JOLLY!”) will budge the sleigh’s large and stinky reindeer guardian. “BAH. Also humbug.” In the typically minimalist art, the frustrated feathered one sports a floppily expressive green and red elf hat for this seasonal addition to the series—but then discards it at the end for, uh oh, a pair of bunny ears. What could Pigeon have in mind now? “Egg delivery, anyone?”

A stocking stuffer par excellence, just right for dishing up with milk and cookies. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2023

ISBN: 9781454952770

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Union Square Kids

Review Posted Online: Sept. 12, 2023


Sweet, reassuring fun—and a story to fully embrace.

A slug longs for a hug and finds it unexpectedly.

Doug the slug would really like a hug and plods on, seeking affection. But a caterpillar, bug, spider, and worm want no part of hugging a slug. They are just not feeling it (might they feel sluggish?), voicing their disdain in no uncertain terms with expressions like, “Grimy, slippy!” and “Squelchy, slimy!” What’s a slug to do? Undeterred, Doug keeps trying. He meets Gail, a snail with crimson lipstick and hip, red glasses; she happens to be as grimy and squelchy as he is, so he figures she is the hugger of his dreams. The two embark upon a madcap romantic courtship. Alas, Gail also draws the (slimy) line at hugging Doug. Finally, mournful Doug meets the best hugger and the true love of his life, proving there’s someone for everyone. This charmer will have readers rooting for Doug (and perhaps even wanting to hug him). Expressed in simple, jaunty verses that read and scan smoothly, the brief tale revolves around words that mainly rhyme with Doug and slug. Given that the story stretches vocabulary so well with regard to rhyming words, children can be challenged after a read-aloud session to offer up words that rhyme with slug and snail. The colorful and humorous illustrations are lively and cheerful; googly-eyed Doug is, like the other characters, entertaining and expressive. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Sweet, reassuring fun—and a story to fully embrace. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Dec. 14, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-66590-046-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

Close Quickview