An appealing and beautifully illustrated educational tale celebrating animals and the great outdoors.


A child enjoys nature and hopes to see a moose in this counting book.

Oscar and his parents look for a moose on their trail walk. Along the way, they count down from 10 to one, emphasizing things they come across. For example, “six chipmunks scurry by,” and they spy “four branches in the breeze.” After Oscar notices “three hoofprints,” he hopes they indicate that a moose is nearby. But he is disappointed when they still haven’t spotted one. As the family packs up and gets ready to go home, Oscar is elated to see a moose standing by the car. As they try to stay still, the boy’s mother photographs a smiling Oscar atop his father’s shoulders. Hersey’s text features jaunty language (“Creak. Crack. Timber! Slam!”), which will keep readers engaged. The book introduces various elements children might see in nature, such as beavers building a dam. Halsey’s illustrations feature brush strokes, distinctive textures, and light-skinned humans. The greenery, a serene pond, and the realistic animal portrayals are especially nice. Subtext is cleverly incorporated. The numbers mentioned in the story are artfully embedded in the images. For instance, the phrase “seven slimy worms” has an accompanying picture depicting a worm shaped like that numeral. Also included is an illustration showing the exact locations of the numbers. Key words are often in boldface or shaped. For example, the words Squiggle! Squirm! are curved.

An appealing and beautifully illustrated educational tale celebrating animals and the great outdoors.

Pub Date: Nov. 24, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-73230-204-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: McSea Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 23, 2020

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Laugh-out-loud fun for all.

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Hilarious complications ensue when Nanette’s mom gives her the responsibility of buying the family baguette.

She sets out on her errand and encounters lots of distractions along the way as she meets and greets Georgette, Suzette, Bret with his clarinet, Mr. Barnett and his pet, Antoinette. But she remembers her mission and buys the baguette from Juliette the baker. And oh, it is a wonderful large, warm, aromatic hunk of bread, so Nanette takes a taste and another and more—until there is nothing left. Maybe she needs to take a jet to Tibet. But she faces her mother and finds understanding, tenderness, and a surprise twist. Willems is at his outlandish best with line after line of “ettes” and their absurd rhymes, all the while demonstrating a deep knowledge of children’s thought processes. Nanette and the entire cast of characters are bright green frogs with very large round eyes, heavily outlined in black and clad in eccentric clothing and hats. A highly detailed village constructed of cardboard forms the background for Nanette’s adventures. Her every emotion explodes all over the pages in wildly expressive, colorful vignettes and an eye-popping use of emphatic display type. The endpapers follow the fate of the baguette from fresh and whole to chewed and gone. Demands for encores will surely follow.

Laugh-out-loud fun for all. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4847-2286-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2016

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The controlled vocabulary and repetition make this picture book a good segue for fledgling readers.


Young Bob, introduced in Goodnight Bob (2016), is content to play with his pet rock while friend Max is frustrated by his dog’s unresponsive behavior.

Max presents his dog and announces, “Dog will do tricks.” On the opposite page Bob replies, “Rock will do tricks.” Each double-page spread unfolds similarly, with simple, repetitive text that outlines a basic pattern. Max orders his dog to do various tricks while the untrained animal ignores the commands. On the alternate page or following spread, Bob calmly repeats the command for his pet rock and then maneuvers the rock accordingly. “ ‘Roll over,’ said Max. Dog did not roll over.” Instead readers see Dog happily chasing a bee. But…“Rock rolls over,” Bob says, rolling the rock across the grass. The two boys, light-brown–skinned Max and pale-skinned Bob, are similarly drawn, with childlike black-outlined figures, round heads, dots for eyes, circles for noses, and a curly dark squiggle for Max’s hair versus four bristly lines for Bob’s blond buzz cut. Each illustration clearly shows what Dog is doing as the big, white canine ignores Max’s commands. This pairing of text and art completes the readable story beyond the words. The sarcasm in the final line, “Max stepped in dog poo,” feels a little out of step. Readers then cued to look for poo will not find any, and they may be puzzled as to whether Bob is speaking for Rock or Rock is speaking for itself.

The controlled vocabulary and repetition make this picture book a good segue for fledgling readers. (Picture book. 5-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-8075-0672-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

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