YOUR OWN BIG BED

A little boy’s birth and growth proceeds parallel to that of several animals on the farm and in the wild. Baby chick, baby alligator and baby sea turtle all grow too big for their shells, just as the little boy grows too big for his mother’s tummy: “Soon they all came out— / and so did you!” His parents carry the little boy everywhere, just like little koala bear, baby kangaroo and tiger cub. First steps are followed by sleep, each in habitat or crib. But when the little boy grows even bigger, as marked against the ruled wall, a new big bed awaits, similar to the new stall for a foal and the doghouse for a puppy. Bergstein’s juxtaposition of animal behavior against human adds both comfort and acknowledgement of a little one’s movement from the familiar to the new. Hartung’s softly iridescent paintings add depth to the simple text in their depictions of animals and boy, each childhood milestone gently marked. A nice, if not startlingly new, addition to the genre. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: June 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-670-06079-5

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2008

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HOW KIND!

Good deeds beget good deeds in this graphically bold and bright celebration of benevolence. Hen gives Pig an egg, a kindness that inspires him to give a carrot to Rabbit, who in turn picks flowers for Cow, and so on until Pig returns the initial favor by presenting Hen with a chick—hatched from her original egg. The clever turn of events leaves readers wondering if Hen has hornswoggled Pig into doing the work of hatching her egg, or if she is simply thanking him for the gift? The youngest readers and listeners will not be distracted by such concerns and will enjoy shouting out “How kind!” as it’s repeated throughout the text; they may also be inspired to emulate the animals and take turns doing one another kindnesses. Electric pink, sky blue, yellow, orange, purple, and tennis-ball-green ink-and-wash illustrations outlined in heavy black add to the cheer and are complemented by the loose yet readable typeface, created by and named for Murphy (Koala and the Flower, not reviewed, etc.). For just plain storytime fun or for introducing the concept of karma, this is a winner. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: May 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-7636-1732-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2002

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Out of all the titles in the series, Goldilocks’ adventures are the most cogent and age-appropriate.

GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS

From the Les Petit Fairytales series

The flaxen-haired tyke makes her infamous visit to the bears’ house in this simplified adaptation.

The classic story is told with minimal text, one or two words per double-page spread. Goldilocks uses speech bubbles to describe the porridge, chairs and beds (“Too hot. / Too cold. / Just right”). The bears look bemused when they find the girl snoozing in Baby Bear’s bed, and they offer an amicable and winsome goodbye when she dashes off. The richly colored cartoons, likely created with the aid of a computer, present friendly-looking characters with oversize heads. The companion release is a stripped-down version of “Little Red Riding Hood” following the same format and style, right down to the sparkly heroine’s outfit and glittery letters employed on the cover. Youngsters unfamiliar with the story may need adult help to understand that the friendly, cross-dressing wolf has actually swallowed Grandma, since all the readers see is a “Woodsman” examining the wolf’s teeth and then sending the predator away in shame.

Out of all the titles in the series, Goldilocks’ adventures are the most cogent and age-appropriate. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Feb. 25, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8050-9912-6

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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