FELIX FEELS BETTER

From the Felix & Fiona series

Toddlers and their parents love the humor of Wells’s bestselling Max and Ruby board books and the bright, believable animal characters in her illustrations for Opie’s quintessential Mother Goose collections (My Very First Mother Goose, 1996, etc.). Younger preschoolers who are ready to move on from Max and Mother Goose will be just the right age for this short, simple, but satisfying story about a guinea pig named Felix who ate “too many chocolate blimpies and stayed up way too late,” causing the little guy to bounce on his bed with sugar-induced glee. Well, what happens when we burn the midnight oil and overindulge in unhealthy goodies? Felix doesn’t feel well in the morning, and after trying all the traditional motherly remedies (chamomile tea, fresh air, and a bowl of prunes), his mama takes him to see Dr. Duck. The little guinea pig is in that afraid-to-visit-the-doctor phase, but Dr. Duck proves to be a kindly pediatrician who fixes Felix’s tummy-ache with two spoons of “Happy Tummy” supplemented by a long nap and comforting tea and toast. Wells has created another charming anthropomorphic character with amusing expressions on his furry little face, perfectly capturing that horrid “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing” feeling. Felix’s story not only provides some subtle lessons in good health habits and coping with mild illness, but also confirms the reassuring results of a mother’s tender loving care. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: May 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-7636-0639-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2001

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TIME TO PEE!

That most basic of functions, subject of countless earnest tomes, at last receives a treatment whose instructional value is equaled by its entertainment value. “If you ever get that funny feeling . . . ” reads a series of signs borne by a host of cheerful, cartoony mice as they fly, drive, march, and (in at least one instance) get shot from a cannon past a bevy of dubious-looking multicultural children: “don’t PANIC! Don’t FRET!” The simple text is direct, not without humor (“And please don’t ignore it!”), and wonderfully child-wise, providing the critical reassurance that “everything will still be right where it was.” The multitudinous mice in their kite-flying, instrument-playing, sky-diving, helicopter-driving variety constitute a visual feast that enlivens the simple text and will keep the inevitable re-readings from becoming snooze-inducing. The uncluttered layout allows the children to take center stage while the legions of mice, with their text-bearing signs, happily perform their supporting roles. Those kids move from doubt to magnificent relief to pride in a happily encouraging progression, making this offering number one in the potty department. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-7868-1868-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2003

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One of those rare thrillers whose answers are even more scarifying than its mysteries.

AFTER ALL I'VE DONE

A middle-aged woman sidelined by a horrific accident finds even sharper pains waiting on the other side of her recuperation in this expert nightmare by Hardy, familiar to many readers as Megan Hart, author of All the Secrets We Keep (2017), etc.

Five months ago, while she was on her way to the hospital with an ailing gallbladder, Diana Sparrow’s car hit a deer on a rural Pennsylvania road. When she awoke, she was minus her gallbladder, two working collarbones (and therefore two functioning arms), and her memory. During a recovery that would’ve been impossible without the constant ministrations of Harriett Richmond, the mother-in-law who’s the real reason Diana married her husband, Jonathan, Diana’s discovered that Jonathan has been cheating on her with her childhood friend Valerie Delagatti. Divorce is out of the question: Diana’s grown used to the pampered lifestyle the prenup she’d signed would snatch away from her. Every day is filled with torments. She slips and falls in a pool of wine on her kitchen floor she’s sure she didn’t spill herself. At the emergency room, her credit card and debit card are declined. She feels that she hates oppressively solicitous Harriett but has no idea why. Her sessions with her psychiatrist fail to heal her rage at her adoptive mother, an addict who abandoned her then returned only to disappear again and die an ugly death. Even worse, her attempts to recover her lost memory lead to an excruciatingly paced series of revelations. Val says Diana asked her to seduce Jonathan. Diana realizes that Cole, a fellow student in her watercolor class, isn’t the stranger she’d thought he was. Where can this maze of deceptions possibly end?

One of those rare thrillers whose answers are even more scarifying than its mysteries.

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-64385-470-0

Page Count: 310

Publisher: Crooked Lane

Review Posted Online: Aug. 19, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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EVERYONE POOPS

This straightforward, graphic book was published in Japan in 1978. Whether the US is ready for its unblinking look at a subject that naturally fascinates children and is basic to toilet training remains to be seen. ``An elephant makes a big poop. A mouse makes a tiny poop,'' begins Gomi, depicting animals, birds, fish, and humans in boldly stylized forms silhouetted against origami-paper colors; their feces are appropriately shaped blobs. There's a lot to know: different shapes, colors, and smells (not described), while some animals stop but ``Others do it on the move.'' A child heading for ``a special place'' introduces a nonjudgmental comparison of adults and tots on toilets and potties with a baby on a diaper. The book concludes with a seven- animal lineup viewed fore (``All living things eat, so...'') and aft (``Everyone poops''). Candid and sensible. (Picture book. 2- 5)

Pub Date: March 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-916291-45-6

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1993

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