This picture book is A-OK.

IT'S OKAY TO MAKE MISTAKES

Parr encourages readers to see mistakes as opportunities with characteristic élan.

In his ineffable fashion, Parr delivers a reassuring mashup that’s part Keith Haring and part Sesame Street. Parr’s signature drawings with bold, black outlines and vibrant colors depict various characters making various mistakes and then making the best of the situations that arise from them. The accompanying text names those missteps and then shows the silver lining to each one on a facing page. For example: “It’s okay to get dirty,” reads one verso, and the facing recto responds, “A bubble bath is lots of fun.” Starting with the cover art that shows a dog with socks on its ears and a child wearing boxer shorts like a hat, silly details abound to keep the message from overpowering the feel-good fun of its presentation. In addition to his trademark purple-, orange- and red-skinned humans, Parr includes a bevy of animals from dogs and ducks to skunks and elephants. Examples of “mistakes” range from genuine goofs (falling down, tangling shoelaces) to character traits (shyness), behaviors (losing one’s temper) and developmental differences (not knowing an answer in school), but the “look on the bright side” response is always on-target.

This picture book is A-OK. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: July 15, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-316-23053-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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Who ya gonna call? A different snowplow book.

SCOOPER AND DUMPER

Friends don’t let friends expire in snowdrifts.

Convoluted storytelling and confusing art turn a cute premise into a mishmash of a book. Scooper’s a front loader that works in the town salt yard, replenishing the snowplows that arrive. Dumper’s her best friend, more than happy to plow and salt the roads himself. When the big city calls in Dumper to help with a snow squall, he brushes off Scooper’s concerns. Yet slippery roads and a seven-vehicle pileup launch poor Dumper onto his side in a snowbank. Can Scooper overcome fears that she’s too slow and save the day? Following a plot as succinct as this should be a breeze, but the rhyming text obfuscates more than it clarifies. Lines such as, “Dumper’s here— / let’s rock ’n’ roll! / Big city’s callin’ for / some small-town soul” can prove impenetrable. The art of the book matches this confusion, with light-blue Dumper often hard to pick out among other, similarly colored vehicles, particularly in the snowstorm. Speech bubbles, as when the city calls for Scooper’s and Dumper’s help, lead to a great deal of visual confusion. Scooper is also featured sporting long eyelashes and a bow, lest anyone mistake the dithering, frightened truck as anything but female. (This book was reviewed digitally with 11-by-17-inch double-page spreads viewed at 16.8% of actual size.)

Who ya gonna call? A different snowplow book. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5420-9268-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2020

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The book is available in just about every format--but this is the perfect one.

GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU

POP-UP

It's hard to believe that a pop-up wasn't the creators' original intention, so seamlessly do moveable parts dovetail into this modern classic's storyline.

In contrast to the tale's 1998 pop -up version, the figures here move on every page, and with an unusually graceful naturalism to boot. From pulling down Big Nutbrown Hare's ears on the opening spread to make sure he's listening to drowsily turning his head to accept a final good-night kiss in a multi-leveled pull-down tableau at the close, all of Little Nutbrown Hare's hops, stretches and small gestures serve the poetically spare text—as do Big Nutbrown's wider, higher responses to his charge's challenges. As readers turn a flap to read Big Nutbrown's "But I love you this much," his arms extend to demonstrate. The emotional connection between the two hares is clearer than ever in Jeram's peaceful, restrained outdoor scenes, which are slightly larger than those in the trade edition, and the closing scene is made even more intimate by hiding the closing line ("I love you right up to the moon—and back") until an inconspicuous flap is opened up.  

The book is available in just about every format--but this is the perfect one. (Pop-up picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7636-5378-1

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2011

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