An enthusiastic, aspirational stage setter.

SCHOOL IS COOL!

From the Cosmic Adventures of Astrid and Stella (a Hello!Lucky Book) series

The transition from a relaxing summer to the first day of school isn’t so bad when you realize that school is cool.

Assorted happy animals are relaxing on the beach, enjoying the summer day, when they stop short and realize that the first day of school is tomorrow. The rhyming text addresses readers in second person while the animals go through the motions on the page, starting with worrying about what school will be like and whether they’ll fit in. The narrator encourages and guides “you” through your first day of getting ready, getting to school, finding your teacher, and saying goodbye to your caregiver before learning, playing, trying new things, and expanding both mind and social life in the different settings and activities you’ll encounter at school. The text—two rhyming couplets per spread—is upbeat and fast paced, and the bright, cheerful illustrations depict animals of many kinds with smiling faces getting along joyfully. Children nervous about starting school will have something to look forward to after reading this ode to the institution. Pair this one with other books on being kind and inclusive so that the school community can actually reflect the ideal presented here. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

An enthusiastic, aspirational stage setter. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 13, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4197-5110-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams Appleseed

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2021

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Roller-coaster enthusiasts or not, children will eagerly join our intrepid hero on this entertaining ride.

THE PIGEON WILL RIDE THE ROLLER COASTER!

The Pigeon is on an emotional—and physical—roller coaster.

Since learning about the existence of roller coasters, he’s become giddy with excitement. The Pigeon prepares mentally: He’ll need a ticket and “exemplary patience” to wait in line. He envisions zooming up and down and careening through dizzying turns and loops. Then, he imagines his emotions afterward: exhilaration, post-ride blues, pride at having accomplished such a feat, and enthusiasm at the prospect of riding again. (He’ll also feel dizzy and nauseous.) All this before the Pigeon ever sets claw on an actual coaster. So…will he really try it? Are roller coasters fun? When the moment comes, everything seems to go according to plan: waiting in line, settling into the little car, THEN—off he goes! Though the ride itself isn’t quite what the Pigeon expected, it will delight readers. Wearing his feelings on his wing and speaking directly to the audience in first person, the Pigeon describes realistic thoughts and emotions about waiting and guessing about the unknown—common childhood experiences. No sentiment is misplaced; kids will relate to Pigeon’s eagerness and apprehension. The ending falls somewhat flat, but the whole humorous point is that an underwhelming adventure can still be thrilling enough to warrant repeating. Willems’ trademark droll illustrations will have readers giggling. The roller-coaster attendant is light-skinned. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Roller-coaster enthusiasts or not, children will eagerly join our intrepid hero on this entertaining ride. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-4549-4686-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Union Square Kids

Review Posted Online: June 8, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2022

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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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