Best bypass this pig.

READ REVIEW

LET'S BE FRIENDS!

From the Piggy series , Vol. 2

Can Piggy befriend shy Miles the mole?

Piggy once only spent time with his books, and then he met Kate the cat (Piggy, 2016). Now he’s friends with all the animals in the forest…except for Miles, who lives under the forest. Miles wants to explore the world above, but he’s scared; and when he gets nervous, he sneezes. One day he sticks his head aboveground. Piggy catches sight of Miles, who sneezes and flees. But then the scent of Kate’s blueberry muffins draws Miles out. The aboveground duo invites Miles to a tea party the next day. Miles, cake in hand, tries to attend, but disaster sends him scuttling underground. Thank goodness Piggy and Kate (and the rest of the animals) know how to make friends. Lai’s second Piggy tale featuring the eponymous star of his app is as flat and facile as the first. The digitally finished watercolor-and-pencil illustrations are colorful and cute but not enough to carry the package. Piggy’s enormous, red-rimmed glasses (which Kate also needed in the previous book) are as much an authorially imposed affectation as Miles’ stutter before each sneeze. Touches of the surreal—an image of Miles floating outside Kate’s window and another in which characters interact with giant question marks—will confuse toddlers.

Best bypass this pig. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68119-068-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Nov. 13, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2017

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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

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Still, this young boy’s imagination is a powerful force for helping him deal with life, something that should be true for...

OLIVER AND HIS EGG

Oliver, of first-day-of-school alligator fame, is back, imagining adventures and still struggling to find balance between introversion and extroversion.

“When Oliver found his egg…” on the playground, mint-green backgrounds signifying Oliver’s flight into fancy slowly grow larger until they take up entire spreads; Oliver’s creature, white and dinosaurlike with orange polka dots, grows larger with them. Their adventures include sharing treats, sailing the seas and going into outer space. A classmate’s yell brings him back to reality, where readers see him sitting on top of a rock. Even considering Schmid’s scribbly style, readers can almost see the wheels turning in his head as he ponders the girl and whether or not to give up his solitary play. “But when Oliver found his rock… // Oliver imagined many adventures // with all his friends!” This last is on a double gatefold that opens to show the children enjoying the creature’s slippery curves. A final wordless spread depicts all the children sitting on rocks, expressions gleeful, wondering, waiting, hopeful. The illustrations, done in pastel pencil and digital color, again make masterful use of white space and page turns, although this tale is not nearly as funny or tongue-in-cheek as Oliver and His Alligator (2013), nor is its message as clear and immediately accessible to children.

Still, this young boy’s imagination is a powerful force for helping him deal with life, something that should be true for all children but sadly isn’t. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: July 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-7573-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2014

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