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Perfect for encouraging a decorous bedtime.

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 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2018

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From the Kissing Hand series

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

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 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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From the Big Bright Feelings series

A heartwarming story about facing fears and acceptance.

A boy with wings learns to be himself and inspires others like him to soar, too.

Norman, a “perfectly normal” boy, never dreamed he might grow wings. Afraid of what his parents might say, he hides his new wings under a big, stuffy coat. Although the coat hides his wings from the world, Norman no longer finds joy in bathtime, playing at the park, swimming, or birthday parties. With the gentle encouragement of his parents, who see his sadness, Norman finds the courage to come out of hiding and soar. Percival (The Magic Looking Glass, 2017, etc.) depicts Norman with light skin and dark hair. Black-and-white illustrations show his father with dark skin and hair and his mother as white. The contrast of black-and-white illustrations with splashes of bright color complements the story’s theme. While Norman tries to be “normal,” the world and people around him look black and gray, but his coat stands out in yellow. Birds pop from the page in pink, green, and blue, emphasizing the joy and beauty of flying free. The final spread, full of bright color and multiracial children in flight, sets the mood for Norman’s realization on the last page that there is “no such thing as perfectly normal,” but he can be “perfectly Norman.”

A heartwarming story about facing fears and acceptance. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68119-785-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2018

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