Didacticism tops the charts with Freda, but co-publishing Carlos is on the money. (Picture book. 2-5)

READ REVIEW

FREDA SAYS PLEASE

From the I See I Learn series

Normally very good at breaking down skills in a way that both teaches and entertains, the I See I Learn series missteps with this entry.

Freda loves playing school and being the teacher, just like Miss Cathy. But when Percy comes to join her, he points out her lack of manners: Miss Cathy “told us that it’s polite to say ‘please’ when you ask for something.” When Freda continues her bossy ways, he plays by himself, joining her when she finally asks politely. Outside, at “recess,” the lessons on being polite continue with “thank you” and “you’re welcome,” but they are couched in a game of catch that is ridiculously polite, to the point of being unbelievable. Scrubba Dub, Carlos, publishing simultaneously, does a better job with its target behavior, teaching children the importance of good hand-washing. When Carlos fails to clean his dirty hands, Miss Cathy leads a discussion on why hand-washing is so important and shows the children the proper hand-washing technique, broken down into flowchart steps on the pages. Unfortunately, rather than use the old standard of “Happy Birthday,” Murphy has children “singing” “One scrubba dub, two scrubba dub…” all the way up to 10. Still, by the end of the book, youngsters will be familiar with both the whys and the hows of hand-washing. Both titles end with a summary and questions.

Didacticism tops the charts with Freda, but co-publishing Carlos is on the money. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-58089-474-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: June 15, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

It’s sweet, but it thematically (and eponymously) replicates Dan Pinto and Benn Sutton’s Hedgehug (2011)—with much less verve

HEDGEHUGS

How do you hug if you’re a hedgehog?

Horace and Hattie are best friends who like to spend time together making daisy chains, splashing in puddles, and having tea parties. But they are OK doing things on their own, too: Hattie dances in the bluebells, while Horace searches the woods for spiders. But no matter what they do, together or apart, there’s one thing that they’ve found impossible: hugging. Each season, they try something new that will enable them to cushion their spines and snuggle up. Snow hugs are too cold, hollow-log hugs are too bumpy, strawberry hugs are too sticky, and autumn-leaf hugs are too scratchy. But a chance encounter with some laundry drying on a line may hold the answer to their problem—as well as to the universal mystery of lost socks. Tapper’s illustrations are a mix of what appears to be digital elements and photographed textures from scraps of baby clothes. While the latter provide pleasing textures, the hedgehogs are rendered digitally. Though cute, they are rather stiff and, well, spiky. Also, the typeface choice unfortunately makes the D in “hedgehug” look like a fancy lowercase A, especially to those still working on their reading skills.

It’s sweet, but it thematically (and eponymously) replicates Dan Pinto and Benn Sutton’s Hedgehug (2011)—with much less verve . (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-62779-404-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more