An understated book about losing one’s temper and the love of family.

RAVI'S ROAR

From the Big Bright Feelings series

Ravi is the smallest in his family—even Biscuits the dog is bigger.

Most of the time, Ravi is happy with his stature, but on one particular afternoon on the playground, Ravi is frustrated by the too-high monkey bars and the too-big slide. When his siblings race to the ice cream vendor before him and the vendor runs out of ice cream, Ravi is enraged. “He growled… / and a stripy tail popped out from the back of his shorts. / Then… / he sprouted two furry ears, sharp, pointy teeth, and stripy orange fur. // Ravi had turned into a TIGER!” Ravi’s family is frightened: His brother hands the tiger his ice cream, and everyone vacates a bench when the tiger roars. Emboldened, Ravi conquers the monkey bars and slide but soon realizes that nobody wants to play with him because he is irrationally angry. All ends well with apologies and hugs. While unremarkable in themes, Percival’s tale does depict a South Asian family engaged in everyday activities; that it’s father-led normalizes the possibility that the family in the book is a single-father household. The illustrations are also quite punchy and dramatically flip from full-color to a very appropriate limited palette—orange, black, white—when Ravi is depicted as a tiger.

An understated book about losing one’s temper and the love of family. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5476-0300-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Safe to creep on by.

LOVE FROM THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR

Carle’s famous caterpillar expresses its love.

In three sentences that stretch out over most of the book’s 32 pages, the (here, at least) not-so-ravenous larva first describes the object of its love, then describes how that loved one makes it feel before concluding, “That’s why… / I[heart]U.” There is little original in either visual or textual content, much of it mined from The Very Hungry Caterpillar. “You are… / …so sweet,” proclaims the caterpillar as it crawls through the hole it’s munched in a strawberry; “…the cherry on my cake,” it says as it perches on the familiar square of chocolate cake; “…the apple of my eye,” it announces as it emerges from an apple. Images familiar from other works join the smiling sun that shone down on the caterpillar as it delivers assurances that “you make… / …the sun shine brighter / …the stars sparkle,” and so on. The book is small, only 7 inches high and 5 ¾ inches across when closed—probably not coincidentally about the size of a greeting card. While generations of children have grown up with the ravenous caterpillar, this collection of Carle imagery and platitudinous sentiment has little of his classic’s charm. The melding of Carle’s caterpillar with Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE on the book’s cover, alas, draws further attention to its derivative nature.

Safe to creep on by. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-448-48932-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together.

HEY, DUCK!

A clueless duckling tries to make a new friend.

He is confused by this peculiar-looking duck, who has a long tail, doesn’t waddle and likes to be alone. No matter how explicitly the creature denies he is a duck and announces that he is a cat, the duckling refuses to acknowledge the facts.  When this creature expresses complete lack of interest in playing puddle stomp, the little ducking goes off and plays on his own. But the cat is not without remorse for rejecting an offered friendship. Of course it all ends happily, with the two new friends enjoying each other’s company. Bramsen employs brief sentences and the simplest of rhymes to tell this slight tale. The two heroes are meticulously drawn with endearing, expressive faces and body language, and their feathers and fur appear textured and touchable. Even the detailed tree bark and grass seem three-dimensional. There are single- and double-page spreads, panels surrounded by white space and circular and oval frames, all in a variety of eye-pleasing juxtapositions. While the initial appeal is solidly visual, young readers will get the gentle message that friendship is not something to take for granted but is to be embraced with open arms—or paws and webbed feet.

A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-375-86990-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more