A sweet, simple addition to the parade of pedagogical books about sharing.

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MINE!

Playtime isn't easy when you have three toys and four kids—or is it?

Amy is very attached to her blankie, Bear, Bunny and Bird. “I love you all,” she tells them, “because we're together and you're MINE.” Enter twins Zack and Jack to disturb her halcyon moment. “Can we play?” they ask, but without waiting for a definitive answer, they pick up Bear and Bunny and carelessly toss them in the air. Next, angry Amy engages the twins in a toy tug of war. Meanwhile, while no one is looking, Baby Joe has entered the scene, taking his place on Amy's blanket and scooping up Bird, which he squeezes and kisses. When Amy sees her toy has been confiscated, she snatches it away. Baby Joe stands small and alone on the page, eyebrows slanted upward in distress, smile turned to frown. The sight of the woebegone baby stops all three. “He's all alone…without a toy,” the twins observe. Amy has the solution. The illustrations. rendered in vibrant colored pencil and acrylic, have no background—only a simple horizon line, which keeps the focus on the characters. The human figures have sizable faces, emphasizing their expressions and emotions. Sharp-eyed readers will see that the toys themselves are troubled by the strife, and their smiling faces (and beaks) reflect their happiness when fair play resumes.

A sweet, simple addition to the parade of pedagogical books about sharing. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6888-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2014

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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

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Although a bit on the slight side, this offering is infused with a warm, light humor just right for cuddling up with a young...

THE BIGGEST KISS

This title previously published in the U.K. takes a cozy look at all kinds of kisses.

Walsh’s rhyming text is full of cutesy rhythms: “Kisses on noses, kisses on toes-es. Sudden kisses when you least supposes.” Sometimes the phrasing stumbles: “Who likes to kiss? I do! I do! Even the shy do. Why not try, too?” But toddlers and young preschoolers will probably not mind. They will be too engaged in spotting the lively penguin on each spread and too charmed by Abbot’s winsome illustrations that fittingly extend the wording in the story. Patient dogs queue up for a smooch from a frog prince, cool blue “ ’normous elephants” contrast strikingly with bright red “little tiny ants” and a bewildered monkey endures a smattering of lipstick kisses. Be the kiss small or tall, one to start or end the day, young readers are reminded that “the very best kiss… / is a kiss from you!” Perhaps no big surprise but comforting nonetheless.

Although a bit on the slight side, this offering is infused with a warm, light humor just right for cuddling up with a young tyke or sharing with a gathering for storytime.     (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Dec. 20, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2769-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Nov. 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2011

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