Perfect for encouraging a decorous bedtime.

READ REVIEW

GOOD NIGHT, MR. PANDA

Mr. Panda knows how to prepare appropriately for bedtime.

Mr. Panda is not too sleepy to note the steps his many friends have skipped on their ways to bed, and it is clear that, to him, their omissions are evidence of behavior that is simply not up to standard. To a hippo whose wide-open jaws appear to emit wafts of bad breath, Mr. Panda says, from his own bubbly bath, “You’ve forgotten to brush your teeth,” and to an apparently stinky skunk, “You’ve forgotten to take a bath.” The hippo and the skunk promise to remedy their lapses at some future point, but a lemur that breaks the frame from above happily claims to have a “minty fresh” mouth and to be “squeaky clean.” Mr. Panda’s pajamas are decorated with multicolored doughnuts, and the matching stocking cap perched on his head is tiny, yet he manages to convey his usual sense of forbearance and dignity. Sheep in nothing but their wool tell Mr. Panda that they don’t wear pajamas, but the lemur sports suitably stripy ones. Though Mr. Panda shows his vulnerable side as he succumbs to sleep at last, the contrast between Mr. Panda’s monumental seriousness and all the other story elements (such as the bright-eyed panda cuddly toy he takes with him to bed) is hilarious and charming.

Perfect for encouraging a decorous bedtime. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-338-27595-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2018

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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

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Still, this young boy’s imagination is a powerful force for helping him deal with life, something that should be true for...

OLIVER AND HIS EGG

Oliver, of first-day-of-school alligator fame, is back, imagining adventures and still struggling to find balance between introversion and extroversion.

“When Oliver found his egg…” on the playground, mint-green backgrounds signifying Oliver’s flight into fancy slowly grow larger until they take up entire spreads; Oliver’s creature, white and dinosaurlike with orange polka dots, grows larger with them. Their adventures include sharing treats, sailing the seas and going into outer space. A classmate’s yell brings him back to reality, where readers see him sitting on top of a rock. Even considering Schmid’s scribbly style, readers can almost see the wheels turning in his head as he ponders the girl and whether or not to give up his solitary play. “But when Oliver found his rock… // Oliver imagined many adventures // with all his friends!” This last is on a double gatefold that opens to show the children enjoying the creature’s slippery curves. A final wordless spread depicts all the children sitting on rocks, expressions gleeful, wondering, waiting, hopeful. The illustrations, done in pastel pencil and digital color, again make masterful use of white space and page turns, although this tale is not nearly as funny or tongue-in-cheek as Oliver and His Alligator (2013), nor is its message as clear and immediately accessible to children.

Still, this young boy’s imagination is a powerful force for helping him deal with life, something that should be true for all children but sadly isn’t. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: July 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-7573-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2014

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