Beware, though, kids may want to wear their underwear like the veggies—without any clothes on top.

VEGGIES WITH WEDGIES

The vegetables in Farmer John’s garden learn all about underwear in Doodler’s latest.

Those who find underwear funny (mostly kids between 2 and 7) will have no problem overlooking the facts presented here: The veggies aren’t rooted in the ground; they have no hands, legs or butt cheeks to speak of; and they don’t have clothes to wear underwear under. None of this prevents them from checking out the many pairs of tighty whities (all different sizes) on the laundry line above their garden patch, wondering what they are for, and finally trying them on in various ways until Carrot finally sets them straight. Bad fits result in the titular wedgies, so they swap underwear until most are wedgie-free. While adults will surely cringe at the entire package, these veggies will have kids looking at their underwear in new ways. For those making the transition from diapers, this could be a turning point, especially considering the catchy jingle the vegetables sing at the end. Doodler’s characters convey a lot of emotion with just round eyes and simple mouths, though it’s too bad that Carrot, a seeming underwear expert, is stereotypically portrayed wearing glasses. But really, what’s not to like (if you’re very young) about digital vegetables with underwear on?

Beware, though, kids may want to wear their underwear like the veggies—without any clothes on top. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: May 6, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-9340-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2014

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A heartwarming story about facing fears and acceptance.

PERFECTLY NORMAN

From the Big Bright Feelings series

A boy with wings learns to be himself and inspires others like him to soar, too.

Norman, a “perfectly normal” boy, never dreamed he might grow wings. Afraid of what his parents might say, he hides his new wings under a big, stuffy coat. Although the coat hides his wings from the world, Norman no longer finds joy in bathtime, playing at the park, swimming, or birthday parties. With the gentle encouragement of his parents, who see his sadness, Norman finds the courage to come out of hiding and soar. Percival (The Magic Looking Glass, 2017, etc.) depicts Norman with light skin and dark hair. Black-and-white illustrations show his father with dark skin and hair and his mother as white. The contrast of black-and-white illustrations with splashes of bright color complements the story’s theme. While Norman tries to be “normal,” the world and people around him look black and gray, but his coat stands out in yellow. Birds pop from the page in pink, green, and blue, emphasizing the joy and beauty of flying free. The final spread, full of bright color and multiracial children in flight, sets the mood for Norman’s realization on the last page that there is “no such thing as perfectly normal,” but he can be “perfectly Norman.”

A heartwarming story about facing fears and acceptance. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68119-785-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2018

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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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