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A sweet parent-child relationship laced with lessons about enjoying today while also looking ahead to the future.

Follow a mother bear and cub as they spend a day in the woods and the cub learns about life.

Like most parents, Mommy Bear wishes the best for her cub—strength, courage, perseverance in the face of adversity, and future loving companions. Someday. But now is the time for the mother and cub to make memories of berry feasts, swims, and snuggles. Their day is idyllic as they roam, lounge, play, and finally sleep. The illustrations include other animal parent-child units out and about, too. Early in the story, Mommy Bear compares her cub to a sapling growing into a tree, and trees, in various forms and from different perspectives, figure prominently in the soothing illustrations. The dark bears with crisp contours stand out against a variety of soft pastel nature scenes. Tree limbs often flow across the page and subtly underscore the go-with-the-flow attitude of the bears’ day. However, the leaves in fall flame hues, which add splashes of color to most illustrations, seem incongruously tiny given the small size of the cub. This quiet, philosophical read-aloud is just right for nap time. Given that Mommy Bear is the picture of relaxed parenting, it’s also an ideal gift to remind new mothers or mothers-to-be to savor each day with their child as well as a wonderful Mother’s Day present. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A sweet parent-child relationship laced with lessons about enjoying today while also looking ahead to the future. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-68010-281-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2022

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From the Izzy Gizmo series

A disappointing follow-up.

Inventor Izzy Gizmo is back in this sequel to her eponymous debut (2017).

While busily inventing one day, Izzy receives an invitation from the Genius Guild to their annual convention. Though Izzy’s “inventions…don’t always work,” Grandpa (apparently her sole caregiver) encourages her to go. The next day they undertake a long journey “over fields, hills, and waves” and “mile after mile” to isolated Technoff Isle. There, Izzy finds she must compete against four other kids to create the most impressive machine. The colorful, detail-rich illustrations chronicle how poor Izzy is thwarted at every turn by Abi von Lavish, a Veruca Salt–esque character who takes all the supplies for herself. But when Abi abandons her project, Izzy salvages the pieces and decides to take Grandpa’s advice to create a machine that “can really be put to good use.” A frustrated Izzy’s impatience with a friend almost foils her chance at the prize, but all’s well that ends well. There’s much to like: Brown-skinned inventor girl Izzy is an appealing character, it’s great to see a nurturing brown-skinned male caregiver, the idea of an “Invention Convention” is fun, and a sustainable-energy invention is laudable. However, these elements don’t make up for rhymes that often feel forced and a lackluster story.

A disappointing follow-up. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68263-164-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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WOO-HOO! This is the perfect way to foster healthy self-esteem in little ones.

What’s better than a cheerleading chicken?

Are you ever blue, unsure, tired, or overworked? Do you ever feel lost or overwhelmed? This uplifting book, expressed in delightful, jaunty verse, explains how to lift your spirits pronto: What you need is a booster chicken telling you’re doing great even when you’re not so confident, as when you’re learning or practicing a new skill, for instance. Your feathered champion will be right there, encouraging you all the way, with a loud “WOO HOO!” that’ll keep you going and remove any doubt you’re super terrific. But what if your cheerful chick errs and doesn’t do what it set out to do? Don’t worry—your cheery chicken just needs a reminder that everyone makes mistakes. That alone is a pep talk, enhanced by the wisdom that making mistakes allows everyone to learn and demonstrate they did their best. So forgive yourself, chickens! But the best thing is…instead of relying on someone else—like a chicken—to strengthen your ego, say a generous daily “WOO HOO!” to yourself. This riotous book hits all the right notes and does so succinctly and hilariously. The energetic, comical illustrations, in Boynton’s signature style, will elicit giggles and go far to make the book’s important point. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

WOO-HOO! This is the perfect way to foster healthy self-esteem in little ones. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 4, 2023

ISBN: 978-0-316-48679-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2023

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