A humorous, engaging tale of a child confused by his parents’ complaints.

PEEVE, MY PARENTS' PET

In Ryan’s debut children’s book, a young boy imagines his parents have a pet that makes messes and causes trouble around the house.

A young boy is perplexed. His parents often comment on the vexing, mysterious behavior of “my pet peeve,” and he’s confused because he can’t see this pet: “ ‘Where did these crumbs on the couch come from?’ my mom asks. ‘That is my pet peeve!’ ” and “ ‘Why is there water all over the bathroom floor?’ my dad asks. ‘That is my pet peeve!’ ” With each new situation, the boy learns another clue about the pet’s identity. For instance, “[s]ometimes Peeve uses my stuff without my permission. ‘Who left a skateboard at the bottom of the staircase?’ my dad asks.” The parents are irked by behavior that ranges from leaving a dirty cereal bowl on the table to tracking mud around the living room to getting chocolaty fingerprints on the piano keys. These are the kinds of careless but commonplace things that kids do every day, so the story may help teach youngsters about the importance of taking care of things and of being aware of how one’s actions can affect others. The boy imagines that Peeve is small and fast, possibly with a horn and spiky tail or maybe a pair of wings; it’s amusing to see the child trying to figure out what’s going on. The book also makes clear to young readers exactly who Peeve is, with most of its space devoted to Durkin’s colorful illustrations that clearly show the situations that irritate the parents. The images also make it easier to understand the text, and with so much repetition, it’s a good book for young readers to practice new words. It may also inspire kids to talk with their parents or teachers about their own pet peeves.

A humorous, engaging tale of a child confused by his parents’ complaints.

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1612252445

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Mirror Publishing

Review Posted Online: Nov. 13, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2014

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ABIYOYO RETURNS

The seemingly ageless Seeger brings back his renowned giant for another go in a tuneful tale that, like the art, is a bit sketchy, but chockful of worthy messages. Faced with yearly floods and droughts since they’ve cut down all their trees, the townsfolk decide to build a dam—but the project is stymied by a boulder that is too huge to move. Call on Abiyoyo, suggests the granddaughter of the man with the magic wand, then just “Zoop Zoop” him away again. But the rock that Abiyoyo obligingly flings aside smashes the wand. How to avoid Abiyoyo’s destruction now? Sing the monster to sleep, then make it a peaceful, tree-planting member of the community, of course. Seeger sums it up in a postscript: “every community must learn to manage its giants.” Hays, who illustrated the original (1986), creates colorful, if unfinished-looking, scenes featuring a notably multicultural human cast and a towering Cubist fantasy of a giant. The song, based on a Xhosa lullaby, still has that hard-to-resist sing-along potential, and the themes of waging peace, collective action, and the benefits of sound ecological practices are presented in ways that children will both appreciate and enjoy. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-83271-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2001

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A DOG NAMED SAM

A book that will make young dog-owners smile in recognition and confirm dogless readers' worst suspicions about the mayhem caused by pets, even winsome ones. Sam, who bears passing resemblance to an affable golden retriever, is praised for fetching the family newspaper, and goes on to fetch every other newspaper on the block. In the next story, only the children love Sam's swimming; he is yelled at by lifeguards and fishermen alike when he splashes through every watering hole he can find. Finally, there is woe to the entire family when Sam is bored and lonely for one long night. Boland has an essential message, captured in both both story and illustrations of this Easy-to-Read: Kids and dogs belong together, especially when it's a fun-loving canine like Sam. An appealing tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8037-1530-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1996

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