Short, simple, sweet—and more than likely to spur some similarly slobbery affection between parent and child.

READ REVIEW

SLOPPY WANTS A HUG

Dewdrop the fairy is willing to give every forest creature a hug—except for Sloppy the tree dragon. What has Sloppy done?

His name provides a clue, but Julian holds off on a direct answer until the end. Until then, Sloppy’s repeated pleas (“Why not?”) only earn stern refusals from the light-skinned, dragonfly-winged fairy: “You know why not.” Looking less like a conventional dragon than a sort of winged kangaroo covered in leaves, Sloppy cuts a decidedly fetching figure throughout—but neither pretending to be sad nor bringing homely presents like flowers or a big rock moves the angry urchin. So pitiable is Sloppy that readers will be mystified on his behalf. At last Dewdrop relents after seeing the sulky dragon kindly return a fallen baby bird to its nest…and is thereupon reminded what caused the rift in the first place, as Sloppy follows their makeup hug with a big, ultraslobbery lick. “Yuck!” In addition to giving Sloppy and Dewdrop a comfortable-looking forest to share with many agreeable friends, Julian displays a wry sense of humor in both Sloppy’s expressive body language and his considerate translations of the little bird’s dialogue, rendering all-purpose “Tweet”s as both “Help!” and “Thank you, Sloppy!”

Short, simple, sweet—and more than likely to spur some similarly slobbery affection between parent and child. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Feb. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7358-4273-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: NorthSouth

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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Likely to be popular with young Pete the Cat fans and parents seeking a gentle introduction to preschool.

PETE THE KITTY'S FIRST DAY OF PRESCHOOL

From the Pete the Cat series

The popular character enjoys storytime, painting, and a snack on the very first day of preschool.

The younger incarnation of Pete the Cat packs his backpack that he picked out from the store himself, gets a snack from his mom, and rides the school bus with his big brother, Bob (who isn’t much bigger than Pete, sizewise). At school, Pete meets his stylish teacher, Mrs. Lopez, and fellow feline classmates while keeping his signature cool. The day ends with Pete declaring: “Preschool is awesome! Pete loves everything!” James Dean’s big-eyed cats populate the simply drawn scenes that look as though they were painted in preschool-esque fashion with thick swaths of tempera. At a couple of moments (when he eats his banana and declares it tasty and when he sings along) his customarily expressionless face actually breaks into a smile. Kimberly Dean’s text is uninspired, but it’s in sync with the upbeat tone of the series. Pete’s preschool experience, while not particularly realistic, is a highly positive one; refreshingly, there is no trace of the separation anxiety or anxiousness found in many first-day-of-school books.

Likely to be popular with young Pete the Cat fans and parents seeking a gentle introduction to preschool. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: June 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06243582-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HarperFestival

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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