A cautionary tale for budding consumers.

SNEAKY BEAK

A susceptible bear falls under the spell of a slick salesbird.

A glib TV ad questioning whether his bed is bouncy enough has Bear signing up for a “bounce test,” which leads to the installation of a “Snores-Galore Mega Bed” so huge that it crowds Bear’s silent co-habitant Hamster right out of the bedroom. In a classic round of upselling, the eponymous avian huckster then cozens Bear into springing for a “Super-Whirl Turbo Tub” that floods the house, a “Crunch-O-Matic Granola Maker” that likewise explodes, and even a rocket to an outer-space vacation. Realizing at last that glamorous goods are no substitute for his tiny, treasured friend, Bear returns to Earth determined to chuck the lot—and responds to Sneaky Beak’s offer of a “Trash-tastic Trash Can” with: “No, thanks! Hamster and I will recycle!” Though Corderoy and Neal rather flub the ending by equating “recycle” with just pitching all the appliances out on the sidewalk with a “Free Stuff” sign, their hearts and values are more or less in the right place. Bear’s new stuff comes positively festooned with retro-futuristic gauges, dials, and robot arms that play amusingly with the pastel refrigerator, lava lamp, and other domestic period details in the cartoon illustrations.

A cautionary tale for budding consumers. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68010-175-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably...

LOST AND FOUND

A lad finds a penguin on his doorstep and resolutely sets out to return it in this briefly told import. 

Eventually, he ends up rowing it all the way back to Antarctica, braving waves and storms, filling in the time by telling it stories. But then, feeling lonely after he drops his silent charge off, he belatedly realizes that it was probably lonely too, and turns back to find it. Seeing Jeffers’s small, distant figures in wide, simply brushed land- and sea-scapes, young viewers will probably cotton to the penguin’s feelings before the boy himself does—but all’s well that ends well, and the reunited companions are last seen adrift together in the wide blue sea. 

Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably with this—slightly—less offbeat friendship tale. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-399-24503-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

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A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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