The book treads familiar friendship territory and ends up feeling as insubstantial as, well, a bubble.

READ REVIEW

BUBBLE TROUBLE

How much trouble can a bubble really cause? You'd be surprised.

Rueben, a cute white rabbit wearing a polka-dot bandanna, and Felix, a bright red beaver, are best friends and nearly identical in many ways. They're exactly the same height, are both left-handed, and have lived next door to each other all their lives. They both also love bubbles—of all sorts really, but their most favorite thing is blowing really big bubbles. One day, seemingly out of nowhere, Rueben issues a challenge—"I bet I could blow a bigger bubble than you"—and suddenly a contest is on. It begins in a friendly manner, but as their bubble machines increase in complexity, the contest decreases in fun. In fact, everything gets more complicated and less enjoyable. Judges find the tiniest faults even as crowds flock from miles around to see the spectacular bubble machines. All the former friends can think about is winning, until, predictably, they see the error of their ways and resume their friendship—maybe. Numerous lift-the-flap bubbles that conceal some of the text and illustrated details are a winning touch and should delight young aspiring readers. The story itself is a little one-note, though, and the visual complexity of the former friends’ bubble-blowing machines threatens to overwhelm the plot as well as the friends.

The book treads familiar friendship territory and ends up feeling as insubstantial as, well, a bubble. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: June 2, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-6196-3679-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original...

A KISSING HAND FOR CHESTER RACCOON

From the Kissing Hand series

A sweetened, condensed version of the best-selling picture book, The Kissing Hand.

As in the original, Chester Raccoon is nervous about attending Owl’s night school (raccoons are nocturnal). His mom kisses him on the paw and reminds him, “With a Kissing Hand… / We’ll never be apart.” The text boils the story down to its key elements, causing this version to feel rushed. Gone is the list of fun things Chester will get to do at school. Fans of the original may be disappointed that this board edition uses a different illustrator. Gibson’s work is equally sentimental, but her renderings are stiff and flat in comparison to the watercolors of Harper and Leak. Very young readers will probably not understand that Owl’s tree, filled with opossums, a squirrel, a chipmunk and others, is supposed to be a school.

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original shouldn’t look to this version as replacement for their page-worn copies. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-933718-77-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Tanglewood Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more