A droll, minimalist take on an odyssey that will be within the experiences of many children…and most adults.

THE BUNNY BURROW BUYER'S BOOK

A TALE OF RABBIT REAL ESTATE

With a family that grows between each page turn, it’s definitely time to find new digs.

The quest of Gregory and Petunia Bunny (and their burgeoning Bunny clan) to find a “burrow to call their own” amusingly points up the gaps between the enticing real estate ads (“This spacious burrow is protected by a state-of-the-art briar patch”) circled on the endpapers and the problematic realities. A cavernous space that’s “just right for our family!” does wait at the end of the search—but only after one reject (“The fairies next door are too loud”) after another (“The ogre who lives here has pet SNAKES!”) after another (“Look at all these rubies in the dragon’s hoard! This place is too expensive”). Light illustrates his real estate fable in loosely drawn outlines with pink highlights, with a broad, black track looping across each double-page spread. Hinged flaps with small peepholes offer outside views of every tree, ornate palace, or thorny thicket along the way, gatefolds lifting to reveal the various fairy-tale or mythological creatures that populate each residence. The page compositions are busy and fanciful, sophisticated and childlike at the same time; it may take readers a bit of time to understand that they are looking at a bird’s-eye view of the neighborhood, with buildings’ fronts depicted instead of their roofs.

A droll, minimalist take on an odyssey that will be within the experiences of many children…and most adults. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-57687-752-4

Page Count: 20

Publisher: POW!

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2016

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A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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Well-meaning and with a lovely presentation, this sentimental effort may be aimed more at adults than kids.

MY LITTLE BRAVE GIRL

Little girls are given encouragement and assurance so they can meet the challenges of life as they move through the big, wide world.

Delicately soft watercolor-style art depicts naturalistic scenes with a diverse quintet of little girls portraying potential situations they will encounter, as noted by a narrative heavily dependent on a series of clichés. “The stars are high, and you can reach them,” it promises as three of the girls chase fireflies under a star-filled night sky. “Oceans run deep, and you will learn to swim,” it intones as one girl treads water and another leans over the edge of a boat to observe life on the ocean floor. “Your feet will take many steps, my brave little girl. / Let your heart lead the way.” Girls gingerly step across a brook before making their way through a meadow. The point of all these nebulous metaphors seems to be to inculcate in girls the independence, strength, and confidence they’ll need to succeed in their pursuits. Trying new things, such as foods, is a “delicious new adventure.” Though the quiet, gentle text is filled with uplifting words that parents will intuitively relate to or comprehend, the esoteric messages may be a bit sentimental and ambiguous for kids to understand or even connect to. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.5-by-19-inch double-page spreads viewed at 50% of actual size.)

Well-meaning and with a lovely presentation, this sentimental effort may be aimed more at adults than kids. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 23, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-30072-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

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