While it features some odd rhymes and a mishmash of cold-climate animals, this tale delivers a strong message that...



A young penguin helps a drifting iceberg reunite with his family in this debut picture book.

One day, a penguin sees an iceberg floating all alone. Curious about the solitary iceberg, he swims over. At first, the iceberg is silent, but eventually the penguin realizes that he’s tremendously sad. The iceberg explains that he was swept out to sea, away from everyone he cares about. Determined to do something for his new friend, the penguin swims against the current that brought his pal and is surprised to find that the iceberg clan, complete with animal cohorts, is floating toward its missing family member. When they return to where the penguin left the lost one, the iceberg is gone—but after a moment, the bird realizes that his drifting friend has been transformed by the journey and now looks like a diamond, the light glimmering off newly crystalline edges. Mascarelli’s verse scans well, but sometimes the rhymes are a stretch and feel out of context within the setting: “I dive into the water / and swim by his side. / Next to the iceberg / I’m as small as a fly.” Readers who know something about Arctic and Antarctic critters will likely spot that the combination of animals hails from both places. Mascarelli and illustrator Grau offer a note in the front that they know these creatures don’t actually mix, but savvy readers may still question the inclusion. They may also wonder why icebergs have families or why it’s odd to see an isolated one. But young lap readers who haven’t yet encountered that type of science-based questioning should love Grau’s round-edged cartoon animals, especially the penguins with bow ties, and enjoy the iceberg’s beautiful transformation as well as his multishaped clan. The ending page, which shows several families (iceberg, penguin, and walrus) gathering together in happiness, is a heartwarming conclusion to a story light on conflict but full of love.

While it features some odd rhymes and a mishmash of cold-climate animals, this tale delivers a strong message that celebrates the joys of working hard to assist a new friend.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-0-9984125-0-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Aridan Books

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2017

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Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit.


From the There’s a…in Your Book series

Readers try to dislodge a monster from the pages of this emotive and interactive read-aloud.

“OH NO!” the story starts. “There’s a monster in your book!” The blue, round-headed monster with pink horns and a pink-tipped tail can be seen cheerfully munching on the opening page. “Let’s try to get him out,” declares the narrator. Readers are encouraged to shake, tilt, and spin the book around, while the monster careens around an empty background looking scared and lost. Viewers are exhorted to tickle the monster’s feet, blow on the page, and make a really loud noise. Finally, shockingly, it works: “Now he’s in your room!” But clearly a monster in your book is safer than a monster in your room, so he’s coaxed back into the illustrations and lulled to sleep, curled up under one page and cuddling a bit of another like a child with their blankie. The monster’s entirely cute appearance and clear emotional reactions to his treatment add to the interactive aspect, and some young readers might even resist the instructions to avoid hurting their new pal. Children will be brought along on the monster’s journey, going from excited, noisy, and wiggly to calm and steady (one can hope).

Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6456-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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