This gentle tale about friendship and home will give early readers and their grown-ups plenty of food for discussion.

READ REVIEW

WHERE BEAR?

The eternal quandaries of friendships between animals and children are given a new twist in this debut picture book by British artist Henn.

When this polar bear cub is small, living with the boy is no problem. As soon as he starts to grow, his natural bear nature starts to assert itself. He eats all the food, swamps the duck pond and roars in an anti-social manner. The boy realizes his pet is “just too big and bearish to be living in a house.” In an entertainingly repetitive phrase, the titular dilemma—“Then where, bear?”—is repeated on each spread, accompanied by illustrations showing the impossibility of each situation. He is too big to fit in the toyshop, too uncomfortable in the zoo; the circus, the woods, caves and the jungle are too scary for this sweet and fuzzy polar bear. A taste of an ice pop from the fridge gives them an idea. It’s off to the Arctic, where the bear feels quite at home in the snow. Everyone is happy, and the two friends still stay in touch, quaintly “chit-chattering on the phone all the time.” Boy and bear are depicted in comfortable vignettes; bold swashes of crayon overlay plain and textured backgrounds in a palette of red, gray, pink and lime. Thick, fuzzy gray lines describe the bear’s friendly bulk; the boy wears a complementary black-and-white-striped T-shirt.

This gentle tale about friendship and home will give early readers and their grown-ups plenty of food for discussion. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-399-17158-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Oct. 1, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Although a bit on the slight side, this offering is infused with a warm, light humor just right for cuddling up with a young...

THE BIGGEST KISS

This title previously published in the U.K. takes a cozy look at all kinds of kisses.

Walsh’s rhyming text is full of cutesy rhythms: “Kisses on noses, kisses on toes-es. Sudden kisses when you least supposes.” Sometimes the phrasing stumbles: “Who likes to kiss? I do! I do! Even the shy do. Why not try, too?” But toddlers and young preschoolers will probably not mind. They will be too engaged in spotting the lively penguin on each spread and too charmed by Abbot’s winsome illustrations that fittingly extend the wording in the story. Patient dogs queue up for a smooch from a frog prince, cool blue “ ’normous elephants” contrast strikingly with bright red “little tiny ants” and a bewildered monkey endures a smattering of lipstick kisses. Be the kiss small or tall, one to start or end the day, young readers are reminded that “the very best kiss… / is a kiss from you!” Perhaps no big surprise but comforting nonetheless.

Although a bit on the slight side, this offering is infused with a warm, light humor just right for cuddling up with a young tyke or sharing with a gathering for storytime.     (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Dec. 20, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2769-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Nov. 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more