Splish! Splash! Everyone will look forward to a bath.

READ REVIEW

BEARS IN THE BATH

From the Bears on Chairs series

These bears, returning in the third book in the series having conquered chairs and beds (Bears in Chairs, 2009; Bears in Beds, 2012), are in need of a bath.

Jaunty rhyme is the order of the day as Big Brown Bear draws the bath for Floppy, Fuzzy, Calico and Yellow Bear. Each bear is quite filthy and in need of a bath. But before the bath, the bears have to do their traditional paw-dragging: “All four bears / back away. / ‘We don’t want / a bath,’ they say.” Grungy little ones will laugh at the antics of these jolly bears, who outsmart Big Brown Bear only to join him in the tub for a huge communal bubble bath. Wide swaths of white space highlight the pastel-colored bears and allow toddlers to notice how every detail in the text is shown in the illustrations. With large font and short phrases, each easy-to-read four-line stanza moves the story forward to its splashy conclusion. Children will be amused by the bouncy rhymes, which are easy for toddlers to grasp and eventually memorize. It’s nice to read strong verbs like smudge, trudge, scoop, wriggle and giggle in a book for toddlers, helping them build their vocabulary and adding interest for the adults who will no doubt read this many times.

Splish! Splash! Everyone will look forward to a bath. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: April 8, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6418-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2014

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Watching unlikely friends finally be as “happy as two someones can be” feels like being enveloped in your very own hug.

THE HUG

What to do when you’re a prickly animal hankering for a hug? Why, find another misfit animal also searching for an embrace!

Sweet but “tricky to hug” little Hedgehog is down in the dumps. Wandering the forest, Hedgehog begs different animals for hugs, but each rejects them. Readers will giggle at their panicked excuses—an evasive squirrel must suddenly count its three measly acorns; a magpie begins a drawn-out song—but will also be indignant on poor hedgehog’s behalf. Hedgehog has the appealingly pink-cheeked softness typical of Dunbar’s art, and the gentle watercolors are nonthreatening, though she also captures the animals’ genuine concern about being poked. A wise owl counsels the dejected hedgehog that while the prickles may frighten some, “there’s someone for everyone.” That’s when Hedgehog spots a similarly lonely tortoise, rejected due to its “very hard” shell but perfectly matched for a spiky new friend. They race toward each other until the glorious meeting, marked with swoony peach swirls and overjoyed grins. At this point, readers flip the book to hear the same gloomy tale from the tortoise’s perspective until it again culminates in that joyous hug, a book turn that’s made a pleasure with thick creamy paper and solid binding.

Watching unlikely friends finally be as “happy as two someones can be” feels like being enveloped in your very own hug. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-571-34875-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Faber & Faber

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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It’s sweet, but it thematically (and eponymously) replicates Dan Pinto and Benn Sutton’s Hedgehug (2011)—with much less verve

HEDGEHUGS

How do you hug if you’re a hedgehog?

Horace and Hattie are best friends who like to spend time together making daisy chains, splashing in puddles, and having tea parties. But they are OK doing things on their own, too: Hattie dances in the bluebells, while Horace searches the woods for spiders. But no matter what they do, together or apart, there’s one thing that they’ve found impossible: hugging. Each season, they try something new that will enable them to cushion their spines and snuggle up. Snow hugs are too cold, hollow-log hugs are too bumpy, strawberry hugs are too sticky, and autumn-leaf hugs are too scratchy. But a chance encounter with some laundry drying on a line may hold the answer to their problem—as well as to the universal mystery of lost socks. Tapper’s illustrations are a mix of what appears to be digital elements and photographed textures from scraps of baby clothes. While the latter provide pleasing textures, the hedgehogs are rendered digitally. Though cute, they are rather stiff and, well, spiky. Also, the typeface choice unfortunately makes the D in “hedgehug” look like a fancy lowercase A, especially to those still working on their reading skills.

It’s sweet, but it thematically (and eponymously) replicates Dan Pinto and Benn Sutton’s Hedgehug (2011)—with much less verve . (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-62779-404-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2015

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