Though unoriginal, this is a bedtime book kids will likely want to keep.

THE BEDTIME BOOK

Mouse needs her favorite bedtime book now!

Poor Mouse is very upset, so she reaches out to good pal Frank the dog. Mouse left her favorite bedtime book outside her flowerpot home, and now it’s missing. Frank, having just roused himself from bed, extends a concerned paw and checks for himself. His keen nose discerns a trail leading to mutual friend Bella the cat, who concedes she left Mouse’s book near Owl’s house. The trio hurries off, but…no book. And it turns out that Owl has given the book to Baby Hedgehog. Disconsolate Mouse doesn’t have the heart to retrieve her book from the baby, so everyone returns home. Frank attempts to fall asleep again, but, struck with a sudden idea, he rushes off to Mouse. The idea? Kindly Frank’s brought his favorite nighttime book to share with her. As Mouse listens, it sounds familiar: She and Frank have the same favorite bedtime book, so Mouse gets to hear her favorite story after all! This British import is simple, sweet, and gentle—if also thin and predictable. Sharp youngsters will wonder why clues about the book’s cover design, mentioned earlier in the story, didn’t tip Frank off sooner that his and Mouse’s favorite bedtime books are identical. Collagelike illustrations enhance the charm, with endearing, wide-eyed animal characters posed against black or dark-green backgrounds.

Though unoriginal, this is a bedtime book kids will likely want to keep. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68010-186-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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A winning tale about finding new friends.

FOUND

Bear finds a wonderful toy.

Bear clearly loves the toy bunny that he has found sitting up against a tree in the forest, but he wants to help it return to its home. With a wagon full of fliers and the bunny secure in Bear’s backpack, he festoons the trees with posters and checks out a bulletin board filled with lost and found objects (some of which will bring a chuckle to adult readers). Alas, he returns home still worried about bunny. The following day, they happily play together and ride Bear’s tricycle. Into the cozy little picture steps Moose, who immediately recognizes his bunny, named Floppy. Bear has a tear in his eye as he watches Moose and Floppy hug. But Moose, wearing a tie, is clearly grown and knows that it is time to share and that Bear will take very good care of his Floppy. Yoon’s story is sweet without being sentimental. She uses digitized artwork in saturated colors to create a lovely little world for her animals. They are outlined in strong black lines and stand out against the yellows, blues, greens and oranges of the background. She also uses space to great effect, allowing readers to feel the emotional tug of the story.

A winning tale about finding new friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8027-3559-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2014

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Just the thing to get uncertain youngsters jazzed for a first day—at school or anywhere.

THE QUEEN OF KINDERGARTEN

Barnes and Brantley-Newton team up for a follow-up to The King of Kindergarten (2019).

From the very first page, it’s clear that young MJ Malone is ready to face the world—and school. Once Mom bestows her with a glittery tiara and dubs her the queen of kindergarten, MJ is determined to fulfill her duties—brighten up every room she enters, treat others with kindness, and offer a helping hand. Barnes infuses each page with humor and a sense of grace as the immensely likable MJ makes the most of her first day. Barnes’ prose is entertaining and heartwarming, while Brantley-Newton’s vivid and playful artwork will be easily recognizable for anyone who’s seen her work (Grandma’s Purse, 2018; Becoming Vanessa, 2021). The illustrator adds verve to the bold young heroine’s character—from the colorful barrettes to the textured appearance of her adorable denim jumper, the girl has style and substance. MJ Malone embodies the can-do spirit every parent hopes to spark in their own children, though even shy kindergarteners will gladly find a friend in her. MJ and her family are Black; her classroom is diverse. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Just the thing to get uncertain youngsters jazzed for a first day—at school or anywhere. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: May 24, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-11142-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: April 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2022

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