Bootsy is a remarkable cat; everyone in the family concurs. When Grandmother sees Bootsy balancing a ball of yarn on her paws, she says Bootsy is a real clown. Jeff readily agrees and imagines her clowning at the circus. Ginny points out Bootsy would be scared of the lights and the applause. Father thinks Bootsy would make a great football player when she runs off with his slipper. Jeff agrees again, but Ginny begs to differ. Apparently Ginny doesn’t think Bootsy is a ballerina, or a fisherman, either…but there is one opinion of Bootsy that Ginny and Jeff share—that she’s the BEST cat in the world. Ukrainian-born author/illustrator Gorbachev’s watercolors, infused with a warm yellow cast, give this tale of feline adoration a slightly retro feel. The realistic gainsaying relationship between siblings Ginny and Jeff is a great counterpoint to the absurd imaginings of Bootsy accepting flowers in a tutu and pulling in the nets in a yellow rain slicker. A good but not essential addition to kitty, family or imagination storytimes. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-7636-3675-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 30, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2010

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It’s sweet, but it thematically (and eponymously) replicates Dan Pinto and Benn Sutton’s Hedgehug (2011)—with much less verve


How do you hug if you’re a hedgehog?

Horace and Hattie are best friends who like to spend time together making daisy chains, splashing in puddles, and having tea parties. But they are OK doing things on their own, too: Hattie dances in the bluebells, while Horace searches the woods for spiders. But no matter what they do, together or apart, there’s one thing that they’ve found impossible: hugging. Each season, they try something new that will enable them to cushion their spines and snuggle up. Snow hugs are too cold, hollow-log hugs are too bumpy, strawberry hugs are too sticky, and autumn-leaf hugs are too scratchy. But a chance encounter with some laundry drying on a line may hold the answer to their problem—as well as to the universal mystery of lost socks. Tapper’s illustrations are a mix of what appears to be digital elements and photographed textures from scraps of baby clothes. While the latter provide pleasing textures, the hedgehogs are rendered digitally. Though cute, they are rather stiff and, well, spiky. Also, the typeface choice unfortunately makes the D in “hedgehug” look like a fancy lowercase A, especially to those still working on their reading skills.

It’s sweet, but it thematically (and eponymously) replicates Dan Pinto and Benn Sutton’s Hedgehug (2011)—with much less verve . (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-62779-404-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2015

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“I love you when you are scared. / I love you when you are brave. / I love you when I am away. / I love you when we are cuddled up close.” A characteristically multicolored cast of parents strings together declarative sentences to describe all the conditions under which they love their children, ending with, “Most of all, I love you just the way you are.” Parr’s entry in the Valentine’s Day sweepstakes looks like every other one of his books—childlike figures with heavy black outlines, bright primary hues with little regard to real coloration—and sounds like 90 percent of the rest of the “I love you” books. Ho-hum. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-316-01985-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Megan Tingley/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2008

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