A heartwarming children’s story about seeing the value in every living thing.

EVERY TURTLE COUNTS

An enchanting picture book about a young girl who finds strength in helping animals.

Hunter (The Lighthouse Santa, 2011, etc.) introduces readers to Mimi, a girl who speaks only to echo what others say, and her loving, persistent mother, who’s determined to find a way to communicate with her. Mimi loves the beach, but she’s more interested in running across the dunes than she is in searching for seashells with her mother. When Mimi trips and falls next to the water, she finds a sea turtle, stunned by the cold, staring back at her, and she feels an immediate connection with the wounded creature—even though everyone believes that the motionless turtle is dead. It takes a friendly member of the Audubon Society to convince the adults in Mimi’s life that her turtle stands a chance of survival, and he takes it to a rescue center. When Mimi goes to visit the turtle, which the scientists call Ridley 3, it becomes apparent that the bond they share may change both their lives. Mimi quickly proves that the adults were wrong to write Ridley 3 off and that she, too, may have a brighter future than anyone imagined. This charming picture book, written with perceptiveness and candor, sets up teachable moments that feel natural and organic. For example, readers are introduced to Mimi long before her autism is mentioned, and the matter-of-fact, compassionate depiction of Mimi’s special needs is both child friendly and honest. The author’s gentle voice rings just as clearly in her explanation of endangered sea turtles, which is neither sugarcoated nor too scary for elementary schoolers. Children will likely empathize with Mimi’s determination to help Ridley 3, and this beautifully written story may help inspire a new generation of open-minded activists.

A heartwarming children’s story about seeing the value in every living thing.

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1931807258

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Peter E. Randall Publisher

Review Posted Online: Dec. 2, 2013

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An unabashed love letter from mother.

I LOVE YOU, LITTLE POOKIE

From the Little Pookie series

A sweet celebration of the bond between a mother and her Pookie.

The eighth installment in this always charming series eschews the episodic drama and silliness of earlier outing such as Spooky Pookie (2015) in favor of a mom’s-eye-view celebration of her child and the time they spend together. There is, of course, nothing wrong with drama and silliness. But while the lack of conflict and plot in favor of unapologetic sentiment makes this book a quick read, that doesn’t make it any less endearing. The rhymed verse captures a mother’s wonder as she observes the many facets of her child’s personality: “Ah, Pookie. My little one. My funny one. My child. // Sometimes you are quiet. Sometimes you are wild.” On the simple joys of shared moments, she notes, “I love to go walking with you by my side. / I love when we sing when we go for a ride. // And I love just to watch as you think and you play. / The way that you are is a wonderful way.” Paired with author/illustrator Boynton’s irresistible renderings of a porcine mommy and her playful, snuggly little piglet, the result is impossible to fault. Whether quietly reading, running in a tiger suit, singing with mom in the car, ears flapping in the breeze, or enjoying the safety of mom’s embrace, Pookie’s appeal continues unabated.

An unabashed love letter from mother. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5344-3723-4

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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The greeting-card art and jokey rhymes work for the baby-shower market but not for the youngest readers.

I LOVE YOU LIKE NO OTTER

Animal parents declare their love for their offspring through rhymed puns and sentimental art.

The title sets the scene for what’s to come: The owl asks the owlet as they fly together, “WHOO loves you?”; the kangaroo and joey make each other “very HOPPY”; and the lioness and cub are a “PURRRFECT pair.” Most of the puns are both unimaginative and groanworthy, and they are likely to go over the heads of toddlers, who are not know for their wordplay abilities. The text is set in abcb quatrains split over two double-page spreads. On each spread, one couplet appears on the verso within a lightly decorated border on pastel pages. On the recto, a full-bleed portrait of the animal and baby appears in softly colored and cozy images. Hearts are prominent on every page, floating between the parent and baby as if it is necessary to show the love between each pair. Although these critters are depicted in mistily conceived natural habitats and are unclothed, they are human stand-ins through and through.

The greeting-card art and jokey rhymes work for the baby-shower market but not for the youngest readers. (Board book. 6 mos-2)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-1374-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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