Certainly young readers will find Mr. Panda funny, will be tickled at the hyperbole, and may find the idea of a huge...

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I'LL WAIT, MR. PANDA

A penguin is rewarded for patience.

Mr. Panda, large and with amusing gravitas, sports a tiny chef’s hat and a pink-frilled, doughnut-patterned apron in this tale of delayed gratification. Mr. Panda is wielding a wooden spoon and mixing bowl, into which he mysteriously pours various ingredients (flour, milk, sugar). An assortment of curious animals, mostly black and white—an alpaca, an anteater, a herd of rabbits, and possibly an egret—pop in to ask what he’s making. “Wait and see,” is Mr. Panda’s repeated answer. All but a steadfast penguin decide that, as the anteater says, “waiting is too hard,” and are on their way. The penguin, who appears first opposite the title page, continues to wait, assuring the large chef, “I’ll wait, Mr. Panda.” When the gigantic surprise is produced at last, it is decorated with chocolate frosting and sprinkles. This would be purely purposive if not for the lively good humor at play in Antony’s eager, silly creatures, who fly, hop, and peek from the sidelines and on the endpapers. Though the reward is rarely as spectacular as this, sometimes hope and anticipation are enough to strengthen the waiting muscle.

Certainly young readers will find Mr. Panda funny, will be tickled at the hyperbole, and may find the idea of a huge doughnut delectable to contemplate while waiting for their own surprises. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-338-02836-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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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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