Princess and Darryl need a sequel.

PRINCESS PUFFYBOTTOM…AND DARRYL

Princess Puffybottom’s purrrrfect life is spoiled by a puppy named Darryl.

Fluffy, black kitty Princess Puffybottom’s two female “subjects” pamper her appropriately. They feed her yummy meals (even if they sometimes need reminding) and take care of “delicate matters” (litterbox, you know). Princess Puffybottom indulges their whims, the petting and the play, until they surprise her with Darryl, a dog! “He was horrible. He was disgusting. He was an animal!” Illustrating this in sequential vignettes, Darryl eats a sock, vomits it up, and eats it again. The princess tries everything from hypnosis to sabotage to rid herself of Darryl, but nothing works. Her subjects notice nothing of her shenanigans—they seem preoccupied with other matters. Eventually familiarity does its work. Yes, Darryl’s annoying, but Princess Puffybottom finds he has uses (such as liberating tasty morsels from the trash), and he does worship her, so life’s “good again. At least her subjects wouldn’t be bringing home any more surprises.” Readers, however, will have noticed that what her two subjects—a black woman and an Asian woman—have been occupied with in the background are preparations for a baby. Nielsen’s tale and Mueller’s digitally created pooch and puss pair perfectly, the princess acting as a nice stand-in for a pampered first child. The light touch of humor and twist at the end make this a must for storytime collections.

Princess and Darryl need a sequel. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-101-91925-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tundra Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

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A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together.

HEY, DUCK!

A clueless duckling tries to make a new friend.

He is confused by this peculiar-looking duck, who has a long tail, doesn’t waddle and likes to be alone. No matter how explicitly the creature denies he is a duck and announces that he is a cat, the duckling refuses to acknowledge the facts.  When this creature expresses complete lack of interest in playing puddle stomp, the little ducking goes off and plays on his own. But the cat is not without remorse for rejecting an offered friendship. Of course it all ends happily, with the two new friends enjoying each other’s company. Bramsen employs brief sentences and the simplest of rhymes to tell this slight tale. The two heroes are meticulously drawn with endearing, expressive faces and body language, and their feathers and fur appear textured and touchable. Even the detailed tree bark and grass seem three-dimensional. There are single- and double-page spreads, panels surrounded by white space and circular and oval frames, all in a variety of eye-pleasing juxtapositions. While the initial appeal is solidly visual, young readers will get the gentle message that friendship is not something to take for granted but is to be embraced with open arms—or paws and webbed feet.

A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-375-86990-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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Indeed, no one will be able to resist this baby.

BABY GOES TO MARKET

Baby is so charming that various vendors in this West African market gift him all sorts of yummies.

Baby rides on Mama’s back, held snug by a bright cloth wrap. Mama navigates the busy, colorful outdoor market, her woven basket balanced on her head. The text unrolls rhythmically in Atinuke’s storyteller’s voice: “Market is very crowded. Baby is very curious. Baby is so curious that Mrs. Ade, the banana seller, gives Baby six bananas.” Baby eats one and puts the remaining bananas in Mama’s basket. All the while Mama shops, unbeknownst to her, vendors continue to respond to Baby’s transparent delight with five oranges, four “sugary chin-chin biscuits,” three “roasted sweet corn,” and two pieces of coconut. With each delicacy given, Baby eats one and puts the rest in the basket. When Mama sees all the extra foodstuffs she didn’t buy, she’s concerned, until the vendors reassure her: “We gave those things to Baby!” In her debut picture book, Brooksbank offers bright, bustling tableaux of shoppers, vendors, and goods. The smiling, all-black cast sort through myriad wares, while the text keeps up its rhythm, introducing both typical items bought in a West African market and a gentle lesson in arithmetic as Baby alternately snacks on and stashes his gifts.

Indeed, no one will be able to resist this baby. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9570-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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