A sweet tale of friendship, both new and old.

READ REVIEW

AUTUMN HIDE-AND-SQUEAK

From the Hedgehugs series , Vol. 3

Horace and Hattie find a new friend to play with as they hide and seek among the harbingers of fall.

The first three spreads follow the pattern of the other books in the Hedgehugs series, establishing a few things the best friends like to do together and what they each do when the other is busy. In this title, Hattie is sad at the prospect of bare trees. Horace attempts to cheer her by grabbing a handful of fallen leaves and trying to stick them back on. In the process, he is startled by the squeak of a little bat hanging in the tree. Hattie and Horace go tumbling into a pile of leaves, and the bat takes this as the start of a game of hide-and-seek. The three play happily, taking turns hiding and seeking, and readers will enjoy spying the friends in the pictures. The last leaf falling from the tree signals that it’s time for the bat to go home, and Hattie is sad again. A whispered conference, though, allows Horace and the bat to give Hattie a wonderful surprise. Pink, yellow, brown, orange, gray, and maroon dominate Tapper’s fall palette, some blackberry bushes providing cover for the purple bat’s hiding spot.

A sweet tale of friendship, both new and old. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-250-11248-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Godwin Books/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: June 27, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.

GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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