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From the Wrong Fairy Tale series

Lots of giggles in this delightfully goofy tale.

In a mashup of two iconic fairy tales, Goldilocks finds herself in the middle of the Three Little Pigs’ battle with the Big Bad Wolf.

When Goldilocks spots an unfamiliar brick house in the woods, she must satisfy her curiosity and barge right in. The three pigs living there are hiding in a closet, frightened by the probable reappearance of their archenemy, the Big Bad Wolf. Goldilocks, brazen as always, heads straight for the porridge, trying each one and enjoying the one that is just right. At that point all three pigs realize Goldilocks has involved herself in the wrong fairy tale, and they tell her so. But here comes the wolf, who, failing to blow down the brick house, tries to come down the chimney. Goldilocks and the pigs work together to build a fire that will get rid of him once and for all. (He is singed and scared but otherwise unharmed.) Thus the wrong fairy tale still leads to a happy ending, with Goldilocks and the pigs best friends forever. Little readers who know both tales will find great joy in pointing out the anomalies while newcomers to the fairy-tale world will love the silly adventures. Turner has created a fun-filled romp greatly aided by Macon’s very brightly hued cartoons depicting a wild-haired, big-eyed Goldilocks (who presents White) and pink pigs whose every emotion is seen in exaggerated facial expressions and body language. Pair it with Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith’s fractured fairy tales or Turner and Macon’s own Jack and the Three Bears (publishing simultaneously); either way the fun increases.

Lots of giggles in this delightfully goofy tale. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68464-160-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: Dec. 24, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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Renata’s wren encounter proves magical, one most children could only wish to experience outside of this lovely story.

A home-renovation project is interrupted by a family of wrens, allowing a young girl an up-close glimpse of nature.

Renata and her father enjoy working on upgrading their bathroom, installing a clawfoot bathtub, and cutting a space for a new window. One warm night, after Papi leaves the window space open, two wrens begin making a nest in the bathroom. Rather than seeing it as an unfortunate delay of their project, Renata and Papi decide to let the avian carpenters continue their work. Renata witnesses the birth of four chicks as their rosy eggs split open “like coats that are suddenly too small.” Renata finds at a crucial moment that she can help the chicks learn to fly, even with the bittersweet knowledge that it will only hasten their exits from her life. Rosen uses lively language and well-chosen details to move the story of the baby birds forward. The text suggests the strong bond built by this Afro-Latinx father and daughter with their ongoing project without needing to point it out explicitly, a light touch in a picture book full of delicate, well-drawn moments and precise wording. Garoche’s drawings are impressively detailed, from the nest’s many small bits to the developing first feathers on the chicks and the wall smudges and exposed wiring of the renovation. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at actual size.)

Renata’s wren encounter proves magical, one most children could only wish to experience outside of this lovely story. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-12320-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

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

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. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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