Short on words and long on expressive artwork—a charming addition to a winning series for little ones.

ALONE TOGETHER

From the Goose and Bear series

Big, white, cuddly Bear tries to have quiet time alone.

Large white lettering over a deep blue background presents the sparse text, perfectly worded for a beginning reader to figure out or for a preschooler to memorize. Seated on the soft white ground of the verso, which might or might not be snow, Fox asks Goose, “Where’s Bear?” and Goose, pointing to the recto with a feathery thumb, replies, “Over there.” Just on the other side of the gutter, Bear sits holding something, a dreamy look on the fuzzy countenance. As the page turns, the two smaller animals continue to stare toward Bear, and Goose explains Bear’s occasional wish for solitude. When Fox decides to “be alone with Bear,” who is by this time staring at a small spinning top, the humor escalates. Bear succinctly replies to Fox’s chattering queries: “Occasionally, I like some quiet time.” As Fox tries to join Bear’s quiet time, the small red critter’s idiosyncratic interpretation of “quiet” leads to paws on the head, rolled eyes and other hints of ursine distress. Eventually, Bear is moved to firmer, although never intimidating tactics. By the time Goose rejoins the trio, Bear and Fox have attained agreement…or have they?

Short on words and long on expressive artwork—a charming addition to a winning series for little ones. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-62091-736-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2014

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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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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

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