A valuable ecological message, deftly delivered. Incandescent.

PANDORA

A gentle fox finds a friend in a desolate world.

Pandora the fox, who wears a simple blue dress, stands resolutely in the middle of a heaping pile of trash: mattress, bird cage, bicycle wheel, old Victrola, etc. She lives alone “in a land of broken things.” The landscape has a sepia tint, but there are pops of color inside Pandora’s home, where she repairs found articles. One day, outside her window, a bird falls from the sky. It’s broken too, but Pandora knows how to fix it. She makes it snug in a box full of shavings and watches over it. As the days go by, the bird grows stronger. He hops, then flies short distances, always returning to Pandora and his box at night. Until one day he doesn’t, and all that’s left is his nest inside the box. Pandora fears her heart will break. But day by day, from the nest of twigs, trees and flowers and leaves grow, covering the landscape. One morning, Pandora awakens to the sound of bird song and sees a land of green things. And guess who comes back? Turnbull’s beautiful pictures are worth the proverbial thousand words; she wisely keeps the text to a minimum. Her soft, spacious drawings judiciously vary perspective and composition to great effect. Pandora alone in her bed in the upper left of a double-page spread with the empty box in the bottom right says everything.

A valuable ecological message, deftly delivered. Incandescent. (Picture book. 3-9)

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-544-94733-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion

Review Posted Online: Feb. 14, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Likely to cause some imaginative prancing among unicorn and kitty lovers.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

ITTY-BITTY KITTY-CORN

Is Kitty only a kitten? Or might she be a noble unicorn?

Inspired by the unicorn on her poster, Kitty crafts a perfect horn and admires herself in the mirror. She feels “unicorn-y.” Her friends disagree. “ ‘You’re not a unicorn, putty-pie,’ says Parakeet. / ‘You’re curled up like a cat, fluffy-fry,’ says Gecko.” So Kitty uncurls to prance and gallop, but her detractors point out her tiny tail. With some effort she plumps it up. They tell her she will never be a unicorn because she meows like a cat; this, of course, prompts her to let out a loud “NEIGH!” Parakeet and Gecko are having none of it, each time varying their mild name-calling. As the sun dips low, Kitty’s sure her long shadow looks like a unicorn’s—until a real unicorn clops into view. Gecko and Parakeet are impressed, and Kitty feels insignificant. But this unicorn has a secret…a pair of fluffy, pink kitty ears the same pink as Kitty’s. They can be kitty-corns together, best friends. Unicorn fans will definitely identify with Hale’s protagonist and respond well to Pham’s bright cartoons, laid out as spot illustrations that pop against the mostly all-white backgrounds. The way Kitty’s friends dismissively poke fun with their name-calling may give some readers pause, but the be-true-to-the-inner-you message and the expressive characterizations add appeal. (This book was reviewed digitally with 12-by-18-inch double-page spreads viewed at 51.2% of actual size.)

Likely to cause some imaginative prancing among unicorn and kitty lovers. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 23, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4197-5091-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

HEY, DUCK!

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. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more