Though this cute-but-mighty tug’s strengths are oddly undercut by the syrupy gear-switch at the end, the bright, attractive...

READ REVIEW

LITTLE TUG

Graphically spiffy and textually brief, this exploration of an anthropomorphic harbor tugboat’s working role tacks on a maudlin shtick in the final quarter.

Savage’s crisp pictures clearly compare Little Tug’s height, speed and length to those of a tall ship, a speedboat and an ocean liner. Despite these obvious shortcomings, Tug helps all three maneuver safely when needed. Young children will likewise navigate through the broadly stylized images of city skyline, water reflections and ships, some of which sport eyes and mouths. An odd divergence, however, appears with the line “What happens when Little Tug tires out?” The story shifts from fact-based narrative to coy bedtime riff, ending with Little Tug being tucked in with a sail from the tall ship, soothed with the speedboat motor’s lullaby and receiving, from the big ocean liner, “a great big— / hug.”

Though this cute-but-mighty tug’s strengths are oddly undercut by the syrupy gear-switch at the end, the bright, attractive pictures will appeal to boat-loving toddlers. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-59643-648-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Neal Porter/Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original...

A KISSING HAND FOR CHESTER RACCOON

From the Kissing Hand series

A sweetened, condensed version of the best-selling picture book, The Kissing Hand.

As in the original, Chester Raccoon is nervous about attending Owl’s night school (raccoons are nocturnal). His mom kisses him on the paw and reminds him, “With a Kissing Hand… / We’ll never be apart.” The text boils the story down to its key elements, causing this version to feel rushed. Gone is the list of fun things Chester will get to do at school. Fans of the original may be disappointed that this board edition uses a different illustrator. Gibson’s work is equally sentimental, but her renderings are stiff and flat in comparison to the watercolors of Harper and Leak. Very young readers will probably not understand that Owl’s tree, filled with opossums, a squirrel, a chipmunk and others, is supposed to be a school.

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original shouldn’t look to this version as replacement for their page-worn copies. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-933718-77-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Tanglewood Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more