The shoe is on the other foot when these talented piggies get their due, so consider this for storytimes or households that...

READ REVIEW

THIS LITTLE PIGGY

The lead singer of the indie rock band Les Savy Fav takes some time to consider the secret lives of toes.

Everyone knows the standard “This Little Piggy” rhyme. What we might not have realized is that long after the final “Wee! Wee! Wee!” the toes on the second foot want to have a little fun of their own. Not content to merely dine and take trips to the market, however, these piggies go in for disco dancing, painting and even selling hot dogs. Not to be outdone, the toes on the first foot attempt even wilder antics, like go-kart racing and a secret superhero career. Finally, at the end of the day, all the toes are exhausted, so they all get ready for bed. The sheer exuberance of these digits buoys much of the read. Harrington’s simple, colorful digital artwork complements the action remarkably well. Many of the rhymes in the book are near misses, but that’s true for the original nursery rhyme, too. Once the text gets to the little toes, an amusing overabundance of page-dominating text comes off as funny (though it is inexplicably split into multiple sentences, where a single run-on text may have been a more effective choice).

The shoe is on the other foot when these talented piggies get their due, so consider this for storytimes or households that need an extra kick. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 14, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-221808-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2013

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While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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Thank you, Gerald and Piggie. We’ll miss you

THE THANK YOU BOOK

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Piggie is “one lucky pig,” and she’s determined to make sure she thanks “everyone who is important to” her in this, the final Elephant & Piggie book.

Gerald is sure his friend will forget someone—“someone important”—but Piggie assures him, “It will be a THANK-O-RAMA!” Piggie proceeds to thank the Squirrels for their great ideas, Snake for playing ball, and the Pigeon “for never giving up.” Piggie thanks and thanks: “I am a thanking machine!” She thanks character after character, even the Flies (“Any time, dude!”), as Gerald continues to interject that she’ll forget “someone VERY important.” Finally Piggie runs out of thanks, and by this time Gerald is steamed. “I goofed,” Piggie says in itty-bitty type, before lavishing thanks on Gerald. But that’s not whom Piggie forgot to thank! A classic Willems tantrum later, Gerald reveals the “someone important”: “Our reader.” Of course. “We could not be ‘us’ without you,” says Gerald, earnestly looking out from the page, and Piggie chimes in, “You are the best!” As Elephant & Piggie books go, this isn’t one of the strongest, but it is a validating valediction to fans of the two characters, who have won Willems two Geisel Medals and five Honors. Yes, Gerald and Piggie have ushered countless readers into literacy, but as they rightly note, reading is a collaborative act.

Thank you, Gerald and Piggie. We’ll miss you . (Early reader. 5-8)

Pub Date: May 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4231-7828-6

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2016

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