Energetic automotive fun.

READ REVIEW

RACE!

Wacky racers zoom through an unconventional course. Who will win?

The row of cars at the starting line is a riot of color and a hodgepodge of shapes. “One car, so small, / squeezes in between them all.” The small red car is only half as big as those on either side. Each vehicle emits clouds of exhaust as the race begins. “Go! Go! Go!” The course is wild. There’s an enormous golden cat-shaped tunnel and an equally large birdbath spilling water. “Watch out for the waterfall!” Another tunnel, a landslide, and a big red locomotive running side by side with the cars provide more challenges for the determined speedsters. “Ramp up, fast lane… / try to beat the moving train!” Butterflies and bees hover overhead, and the small red car’s almost blocked by what looks like a giant hose. In the home stretch, the race tightens. The little car drives right off a cliff, landing on the track next to car No. 12, in the lead. Suddenly: “Maaaxwellll…” and a wide-angle view shows a backyard, where a small white boy is holding that little red car in his hand. Ohhhhh. Clues along the way should help children figure out the surprise twist, and readers will love flipping back and forth to see the play between Maxwell’s imagination and real life. Fliess’ crunchy, rhyming text will have readers barreling along.

Energetic automotive fun. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: July 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0237-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little Bee

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2017

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Watching unlikely friends finally be as “happy as two someones can be” feels like being enveloped in your very own hug.

THE HUG

What to do when you’re a prickly animal hankering for a hug? Why, find another misfit animal also searching for an embrace!

Sweet but “tricky to hug” little Hedgehog is down in the dumps. Wandering the forest, Hedgehog begs different animals for hugs, but each rejects them. Readers will giggle at their panicked excuses—an evasive squirrel must suddenly count its three measly acorns; a magpie begins a drawn-out song—but will also be indignant on poor hedgehog’s behalf. Hedgehog has the appealingly pink-cheeked softness typical of Dunbar’s art, and the gentle watercolors are nonthreatening, though she also captures the animals’ genuine concern about being poked. A wise owl counsels the dejected hedgehog that while the prickles may frighten some, “there’s someone for everyone.” That’s when Hedgehog spots a similarly lonely tortoise, rejected due to its “very hard” shell but perfectly matched for a spiky new friend. They race toward each other until the glorious meeting, marked with swoony peach swirls and overjoyed grins. At this point, readers flip the book to hear the same gloomy tale from the tortoise’s perspective until it again culminates in that joyous hug, a book turn that’s made a pleasure with thick creamy paper and solid binding.

Watching unlikely friends finally be as “happy as two someones can be” feels like being enveloped in your very own hug. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-571-34875-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Faber & Faber

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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This pair of Spanish friends should find fans in the States. (Picture book. 3-5)

THE SCARY WIND

From the Hedgehog and Rabbit series

Are those swirling leaves…or a monster!?

Rabbit is eating cabbages in the garden while, nearby, Hedgehog searches for snails. A sudden wind comes up, stirring the colorful leaves, causing them to swirl in the air. Frightened, Rabbit screams and hides in a hollow log; Hedgehog follows him to find out what’s wrong. Shivering, Rabbit declares that there’s a big howling monster after them. When leaves blow into their hiding place, both animals panic and flee in opposite directions. After some running, both Rabbit and Hedgehog feel bad for leaving a friend alone with the scary beast and decide to return to help. Rabbit first adopts a disguise, smearing himself with mud and tying two branches onto his head to look like horns. Hedgehog rolls in a pile of colorful leaves and picks up two sticks to look like claws. When the two friends confront each other, they are scared all over again and run away…all over again. The running itself makes the disguises blow away, and before long the friends are reunited, eating in the garden as the wind continues to blow. Storyteller Albo offers straightforwardly simple silliness for the very young, who should love the heightened emotions and the repetition. Gómez makes both Rabbit and Hedgehog highly expressive; most compositions are uncluttered, and tiny details will keep children engaged. Series companion The Stubborn Cloud publishes simultaneously.

This pair of Spanish friends should find fans in the States. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Nov. 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-84-945971-7-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: nubeOCHO

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2017

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