Teachers and parents of short-fused toddlers will read this over and over. Serve with bananas

READ REVIEW

BETTY GOES BANANAS

Betty’s hunger gets the better of her when she faces a banana she cannot open.

Betty, a baby gorilla, is like little folks everywhere when she is hungry. She wants to eat now. That banana seems promising, but Betty is stymied: How can she get past the peel? She tries using her hands, teeth and feet, but nothing works. Frustrated, Betty erupts, crying, screaming and banging her feet. A helpful toucan shows her how to peel the desired fruit, but Betty wants to peel it herself. She falls into another tantrum about that, and she melts down again when the banana breaks. The backgrounds of the spreads reflect Betty’s moods: fully saturated red when Betty has lost it and gentle yellows and whites when she calms herself. Children, whose emotions can run a roller coaster, will have no choice but to giggle at Betty’s behavior. Mr. Toucan, playing the role of the reasonable but understanding adult, shifts his eye knowingly at readers, adding to the fun. Childlike illustrations in pencil and graphite sticks on banana paper (naturally!) draw children into Betty’s life with humor. She looks innocent in her pink dress with matching bow, but her smile disappears quickly when her body collapses in exasperation.

Teachers and parents of short-fused toddlers will read this over and over. Serve with bananas . (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 23, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-553-50761-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2014

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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

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Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection.

DADDIES ARE AWESOME

Puppies celebrate the many ways their dads are awesome.

“Daddies are playful. / They swing you around. // You ride on their shoulders / or hang upside down.” The first spread pictures a scruffy pup, mouth clamped on its dad’s tail, hanging. The second features a long dachshund, his four pups using the large expanse of his back as a jungle gym or resting spot. The husky dad is labeled as daring, brave, and strong, while the hound takes his pup on adventures (digging and hiding under a bush). Other dog dads give kisses and tickles, tell bedtime stories and help count sheep (a stuffed toy), and help their pups grow (challenging them with stairs and carrying them when the going gets tough). Lovšin creatively interprets some of the text that applies well to kids but not so well to canines: dad and pup at each end of a long stick held in their mouths is the dog equivalent of holding hands. Though many dog breeds will be familiar, some are just mutts, though all are shown caring for and enjoying the company of their offspring. White backgrounds keep the focus on the dogs.

Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 17, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62779-452-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2016

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