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MY SOMEBODY SPECIAL

A sensitive tale exploring the turbulent mix of emotions, both the trepidation and happy reunion experienced by youngsters at pick-up time. Simple verses take readers through the end-of-day rituals the children have at a school or daycare facility. One by one, parents arrive, reciting a riddle just for their own child, to which the youngsters respond with enthusiasm (as will the audience). Various physical attributes lovingly described by the parents include big round eyes (the raccoon), a cute nose (the otter), silken hair (the fox), soft tummies, perfect toes, etc. “Whose cheeks just beg to be nibbled and kissed? Mine do. Mine do. Mine!” The repetition of this scenario with each child reassures readers even as Weeks (Oh My Gosh, Mrs. McNosh!, below, etc.) gently acknowledges the incipient anxiety of the last one remaining. The eventual arrival of the tardy parent results in obvious relief, reaffirming the reader’s sense of security. The deeply hued illustrations are a rich blend of watercolors, chalk pastels, and pencil drawings. They depict a nursery school full of adorable critters ranging from a chubby-cheeked chipmunk to a prickly porcupine in familiar, fun activities, such as painting and dress-up, while conveying the increasing unease of the puppy that will be the last to leave. Sympathetic and soothing, this tale is just right for taming the worries of small fry when they are away from home. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: May 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-15-202561-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Gulliver/Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2002

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LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S HALLOWEEN

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.

A lift-the-flap book gives the littlest trick-or-treaters some practice identifying partygoers under their costumes.

Little Blue Truck and his buddy Toad are off to a party, and they invite readers (and a black cat) along for the ride: “ ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ / says Little Blue. / ‘It’s Halloween!’ / You come, too.” As they drive, they are surprised (and joined) by many of their friends in costume. “Who’s that in a tutu / striking a pose / up on the tiniest / tips of her toes? / Under the mask / who do you see?” Lifting the flap unmasks a friend: “ ‘Quack!’ says the duck. / ‘It’s me! It’s me!’ ” The sheep is disguised as a clown, the cow’s a queen, the pig’s a witch, the hen and her chick are pirates, and the horse is a dragon. Not to be left out, Little Blue has a costume, too. The flaps are large and sturdy, and enough of the animals’ characteristic features are visible under and around the costumes that little ones will be able to make successful guesses even on the first reading. Lovely curvy shapes and autumn colors fade to dusky blues as night falls, and children are sure to notice the traditional elements of a Halloween party: apple bobbing, lit jack-o’-lanterns, and punch and treats.

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-77253-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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LITTLE OWL'S NIGHT

Little Owl loves the night forest. He can’t imagine a better place. He glides from friend to friend, watching and listening....

A graceful bedtime story celebrates the beauty found in night.

Little Owl loves the night forest. He can’t imagine a better place. He glides from friend to friend, watching and listening. Hedgehog snuffles for mushrooms. Turtle hides in her shell as fireflies dot the sky. But try as he might, Little Owl cannot wake Bear inside the Grumbly Cave. He snores soundly. But what if the bear has never seen stars? As morning draws near, Little Owl settles in on his branch and whispers softly to his mother, “[T]ell me again how night ends.” “Spiderwebs turn to silver threads,” she begins. “The sky brightens from black to blue, blue to red, red to gold.” But Little Owl does not hear. His wide, innocent green eyes have already shut tight. Srinivasan’s picture-book debut beckons readers to follow this curiously adorable creature through the sky. The moon and stars illuminate the dark background, and a flat palette of black, greens and browns blankets the forest in quiet stillness. More lyrical than linear, the story flits from one animal to the next. But readers won’t mind.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-670-01295-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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