This latest entry in the I Like to Read series can be paired with Lewin’s Look! (2012) as natural history for the very young.

READ REVIEW

WHAT AM I? WHERE AM I?

From the I Like To Read series

A straightforward guessing game connects iconic animals to their habitats.

In 21 words arranged in simple sentences, Lewin offers emergent readers a pleasing package of wildlife puzzles. Keyhole images open up to double-page spreads of an animal against a white background, which is then followed by a full-page picture of that animal in its natural habitat. Lions rest in the grassland. Reindeer roam the tundra. Two wild Bactrian camels with patchy pelts stand patiently in the desert. A sea otter floats in water on its back, holding a clam. A tiger sprawls on a forest floor. All are depicted in luminous watercolors, lightly outlined with pencil. The animals are rendered in myriad shades of gray and brown; the blues of the ocean and greens of the forest are similarly varied. A culminating page connects these creatures to readers, showing “a boy…on the beautiful earth.” Behind the smiling boy, a blue marble image of the Earth is oriented so that both North and South America can be seen. The patterned repetition of the title questions and the identifiable images will make even pre-readers feel competent; they’ll need only just a little help with the habitat names to master the text.

This latest entry in the I Like to Read series can be paired with Lewin’s Look! (2012) as natural history for the very young. (Early reader. 2-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2856-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: July 31, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2013

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Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S HALLOWEEN

A lift-the-flap book gives the littlest trick-or-treaters some practice identifying partygoers under their costumes.

Little Blue Truck and his buddy Toad are off to a party, and they invite readers (and a black cat) along for the ride: “ ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ / says Little Blue. / ‘It’s Halloween!’ / You come, too.” As they drive, they are surprised (and joined) by many of their friends in costume. “Who’s that in a tutu / striking a pose / up on the tiniest / tips of her toes? / Under the mask / who do you see?” Lifting the flap unmasks a friend: “ ‘Quack!’ says the duck. / ‘It’s me! It’s me!’ ” The sheep is disguised as a clown, the cow’s a queen, the pig’s a witch, the hen and her chick are pirates, and the horse is a dragon. Not to be left out, Little Blue has a costume, too. The flaps are large and sturdy, and enough of the animals’ characteristic features are visible under and around the costumes that little ones will be able to make successful guesses even on the first reading. Lovely curvy shapes and autumn colors fade to dusky blues as night falls, and children are sure to notice the traditional elements of a Halloween party: apple bobbing, lit jack-o’-lanterns, and punch and treats.

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-77253-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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Yes, the Pigeon has to go to school, and so do readers, and this book will surely ease the way.

THE PIGEON HAS TO GO TO SCHOOL!

From the Pigeon series

All the typical worries and excuses kids have about school are filtered through Willems’ hysterical, bus-loving Pigeon.

Told mostly in speech balloons, the bird’s monologue will have kids (and their caregivers) in stitches at Pigeon’s excuses. From already knowing everything (except whatever question readers choose to provide in response to “Go ahead—ask me a question. / Any question!”) to fearing learning too much (“My head might pop off”), Pigeon’s imagination has run wild. Readers familiar with Pigeon will recognize the muted, matte backgrounds that show off the bird’s shenanigans so well. As in previous outings, Willems varies the size of the pigeon on the page to help communicate emotion, the bird teeny small on the double-page spread that illustrates the confession that “I’m… / scared.” And Pigeon’s eight-box rant about all the perils of school (“The unknown stresses me out, dude”) is marvelously followed by the realization (complete with lightbulb thought bubble) that school is the place for students to practice, with experts, all those skills they don’t yet have. But it is the ending that is so Willems, so Pigeon, and so perfect. Pigeon’s last question is “Well, HOW am I supposed to get there, anyway!?!” Readers will readily guess both the answer and Pigeon’s reaction.

Yes, the Pigeon has to go to school, and so do readers, and this book will surely ease the way. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-368-04645-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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