Guaranteed to give emerging readers a buzz.

READ REVIEW

LET'S PLAY MAKE BEE-LIEVE

From the Bumble and Bee series , Vol. 2

Who’d bee-lieve hanging with bees could be fun?

Froggy thinks differently. Though a neighbor of Bumble and Bee, Froggy would rather read in the pond and stay out of their games. Somehow, though, the amphibian gets roped in. Take guess-the-animal. While the apian duo demonstrates ineptitude at figuring out what creature each pretends to be(e)—though it’s clearly obvious to readers—Froggy attends to reading. Or tries to—hopeless glances at readers are priceless until, exasperated, Froggy butts in with the answers. Before long, Froggy enters the game and, due to an unexpected visitor the bees notice but Froggy doesn’t, they guess Froggy’s “identity” immediately. The other stories in this small graphic early reader, just the right size for little hands, are equally comical. A pirate game with the bees rewards Froggy with the “sweetest treasure in the world,” though, sadly, not of the sugar-laden, high-calorie kind. In the final story, the bees’ confused hide-and-seek session finally brings Froggy peaceful reading time. This rollicking collection, presented comics style and with dialogue set mostly in speech balloons, will have readers forgetting any fears of bees and eager to join these quirky friends. Simple language and sweet, expressive, humorous illustrations that work perfectly with the text will have children giggling and enjoying reading success.

Guaranteed to give emerging readers a buzz. (Early reader. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-50525-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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Dog lovers will especially “LOVE” this, and readers who can’t get enough can follow the real-life Plum in the author’s blog.

LOVE IS MY FAVORITE THING

Clark captures a dog’s exuberance and love of the simple things.

While the text is missing any mention of “Squirrel!” still, Plum jumps from one thing to the next that she loves, from wind and snow and catching and sticks and the kids next door to the park, water, tug of war, and ice cream. It’s these last four things that get Plum into trouble one day, one awful day when she wonders if any of the people she loves still love her—that’s how naughty she’s been. This is doubly tough for poor Plum, as LOVE is her favorite thing in the world, LOVE being the love she has for her family, Emma and Rupert, and for Gracie and Sam, the kids next door, and the love they have for her. Clark uses white backgrounds and spreads that vary among comic panels, vignettes, single-page and double-page spreads to pace the tale and make it clear to readers just how energetic and exuberant the scruffy black mutt is. And no child will fail to understand the dog’s conundrum: she knows what she should do and yet feels compelled to do the wrong thing anyway. Fur, ears, and posture speak volumes.

Dog lovers will especially “LOVE” this, and readers who can’t get enough can follow the real-life Plum in the author’s blog. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 24, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-399-17503-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2015

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Gently encourages empathy, compassion, and consideration.

TOMORROW I'LL BE KIND

How will you behave tomorrow?

Utilizing the same format and concept of her popular Tomorrow I’ll Be Brave (2018), Hische presents young listeners with short, studied rhymes that describe various positive attributes (being helpful, patient, gentle, honest, generous, graceful, and kind). Also included are kid-friendly ways to incorporate these behaviors into daily life, with the underlying goal of making the world a better place. The illustrations, which feature friends in the forms of a mouse, cat, and rabbit, are colorful and appealing, and they extend the text by showing some additional ways of realizing the characteristics mentioned. Overall, the intentions are aboveboard, but this is a volume intended to teach about positive values and behavior, and as such, it comes across as somewhat treacly and proselytizing. The key words, incorporated into the illustrations in a graphic manner, are sometimes a bit difficult to read, and occasionally, select vocabulary and phrases (“to myself I will be true”; “my heart, my guiding light”) seem better suited for an older readership. Still, as an introduction to personality characteristics, beneficial behaviors, and social-emotional skills, this is a solid choice, and fans of the previous volume are likely to embrace this one as well. “I’ll dream of all the good that comes / when we all just do our best,” the text explains—a sentiment that’s hard to rebut.

Gently encourages empathy, compassion, and consideration. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Jan. 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5247-8704-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2019

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