New-to-preschool tots will find a kindred spirit in both adventurous spirit and emotional development.


From the Billie's Super-Duper Adventures series

Billie B. Brown continues to learn preschool lessons in this trim, little series (Billie’s Underwater Adventure, 2016, etc.).

Billie doesn’t eat much breakfast, so her stomach is “growly and grumbly.” Luckily there is a brand new bakery stand in the classroom—made from a cardboard box—where she can bake delectable treats with her friends Jack and Emily (all three friends are white in this outing). There are many hungry toys waiting for a bite of something sweet. With a pinch of sugar, a few cups of flour, and a hefty dose of imagination, Billie and Jack make delicious “button buns” that the customers love. But Emily is jealous. So she whips up a three-tiered berry confection that leaves everyone in awe. Caught in a cycle of one-upmanship, Billie and Jack try to make “pinkle-dough muffins,” but instead of measuring carefully, they rush to be the best and end up with a pinkle-dough explosion instead. In a simultaneous publication, Billie’s Wild Jungle Adventure (2016), Billie and Jack get caught in another imaginative (yet not quite as much fun) escapade involving a pretend snake in the preschool’s backyard. Larger, italicized type in both volumes highlights intriguing vocabulary, and Billie never fails to have a “super-duper idea” to save the day.

New-to-preschool tots will find a kindred spirit in both adventurous spirit and emotional development. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-61067-554-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2016

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A wandering effort, happy but pointless.


From the Dragons Love Tacos series

The perfect book for kids who love dragons and mild tacos.

Rubin’s story starts with an incantatory edge: “Hey, kid! Did you know that dragons love tacos? They love beef tacos and chicken tacos. They love really big gigantic tacos and tiny little baby tacos as well.” The playing field is set: dragons, tacos. As a pairing, they are fairly silly, and when the kicker comes in—that dragons hate spicy salsa, which ignites their inner fireworks—the silliness is sillier still. Second nature, after all, is for dragons to blow flames out their noses. So when the kid throws a taco party for the dragons, it seems a weak device that the clearly labeled “totally mild” salsa comes with spicy jalapenos in the fine print, prompting the dragons to burn down the house, resulting in a barn-raising at which more tacos are served. Harmless, but if there is a parable hidden in the dragon-taco tale, it is hidden in the unlit deep, and as a measure of lunacy, bridled or unbridled, it doesn’t make the leap into the outer reaches of imagination. Salmieri’s artwork is fitting, with a crabbed, ethereal line work reminiscent of Peter Sís, but the story does not offer it enough range.

A wandering effort, happy but pointless. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 14, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8037-3680-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2012

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WOO-HOO! This is the perfect way to foster healthy self-esteem in little ones.


What’s better than a cheerleading chicken?

Are you ever blue, unsure, tired, or overworked? Do you ever feel lost or overwhelmed? This uplifting book, expressed in delightful, jaunty verse, explains how to lift your spirits pronto: What you need is a booster chicken telling you’re doing great even when you’re not so confident, as when you’re learning or practicing a new skill, for instance. Your feathered champion will be right there, encouraging you all the way, with a loud “WOO HOO!” that’ll keep you going and remove any doubt you’re super terrific. But what if your cheerful chick errs and doesn’t do what it set out to do? Don’t worry—your cheery chicken just needs a reminder that everyone makes mistakes. That alone is a pep talk, enhanced by the wisdom that making mistakes allows everyone to learn and demonstrate they did their best. So forgive yourself, chickens! But the best thing is…instead of relying on someone else—like a chicken—to strengthen your ego, say a generous daily “WOO HOO!” to yourself. This riotous book hits all the right notes and does so succinctly and hilariously. The energetic, comical illustrations, in Boynton’s signature style, will elicit giggles and go far to make the book’s important point. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

WOO-HOO! This is the perfect way to foster healthy self-esteem in little ones. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 4, 2023

ISBN: 978-0-316-48679-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2023

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