A fun summertime romp—hook, line, and sinker.

GO FISH!

Goose and friends go fishing but can’t seem to catch any fish.

In a narrative composed of only a few words, Goose (so named on the jacket flap, but readers will be forgiven for identifying the character as a duck) and five animal chums set off to the pond with their fishing gear. They cast their lines (except Goose, who becomes wildly tangled) and wait. “Go … / fish!” They reel them in but haven’t caught anything. “No fish.” They’re not discouraged. They try again. “Go fish!” (Poor Goose is fumbling with the worms.) But still, their hooks are empty. “No fish.” With each failure the group gets more and more crestfallen. Until Goose is finally ready, casting the line far out into the pond. “Gooooooo….” And at last Goose catches a giant “Fish! Fish! Fish! Fish!” The enormous fish is pink and wearing a smile, but tiny fangs and its hefty size are enough to make all of the friends scatter. “GO! GO! GO!” Luckily, Goose finds a way (with the help of some pizza) to bring everyone back together. Sauer’s minimalist wordplay and Waring’s rotund, cheery friends brighten up a favorite pastime. A slight educational aside: Some of the unusual items they catch (although exaggerated) could be a conversation starter about pollution.

A fun summertime romp—hook, line, and sinker. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: July 3, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-242155-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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Safe to creep on by.

LOVE FROM THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR

Carle’s famous caterpillar expresses its love.

In three sentences that stretch out over most of the book’s 32 pages, the (here, at least) not-so-ravenous larva first describes the object of its love, then describes how that loved one makes it feel before concluding, “That’s why… / I[heart]U.” There is little original in either visual or textual content, much of it mined from The Very Hungry Caterpillar. “You are… / …so sweet,” proclaims the caterpillar as it crawls through the hole it’s munched in a strawberry; “…the cherry on my cake,” it says as it perches on the familiar square of chocolate cake; “…the apple of my eye,” it announces as it emerges from an apple. Images familiar from other works join the smiling sun that shone down on the caterpillar as it delivers assurances that “you make… / …the sun shine brighter / …the stars sparkle,” and so on. The book is small, only 7 inches high and 5 ¾ inches across when closed—probably not coincidentally about the size of a greeting card. While generations of children have grown up with the ravenous caterpillar, this collection of Carle imagery and platitudinous sentiment has little of his classic’s charm. The melding of Carle’s caterpillar with Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE on the book’s cover, alas, draws further attention to its derivative nature.

Safe to creep on by. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-448-48932-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2021

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The snappy text will get toes tapping, but the information it carries is limited.

LET'S DANCE!

Dancing is one of the most universal elements of cultures the world over.

In onomatopoeic, rhyming text, Bolling encourages readers to dance in styles including folk dance, classical ballet, breakdancing, and line dancing. Read aloud, the zippy text will engage young children: “Tappity Tap / Fingers Snap,” reads the rhyme on the double-page spread for flamenco; “Jiggity-Jig / Zig-zag-zig” describes Irish step dancing. The ballet pages stereotypically include only children in dresses or tutus, but one of these dancers wears hijab. Overall, children included are racially diverse and vary in gender presentation. Diaz’s illustrations show her background in animated films; her active child dancers generally have the large-eyed sameness of cartoon characters. The endpapers, with shoes and musical instruments, could become a matching game with pages in the book. The dances depicted are described at the end, including kathak from India and kuku from Guinea, West Africa. Unfortunately, these explanations are quite rudimentary. Kathak dancers use their facial expressions extensively in addition to the “movements of their hands and their jingling feet,” as described in the book. Although today kuku is danced at all types of celebrations in several countries, it was once done after fishing, an activity acknowledged in the illustrations but not mentioned in the explanatory text.

The snappy text will get toes tapping, but the information it carries is limited. (Informational picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-63592-142-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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