Steady and bright, this will appeal to toddlers looking for comfort, not thrills.

READ REVIEW

STANLEY THE FARMER

From the Stanley series

A cartoonlike hamster named Stanley and two other small mammals demonstrate the steps used to plant, maintain and harvest wheat at a typical commercial farm.

Clear, bright graphics depict a red tractor emerging from a barn, along with the words “Where is Stanley? He is going to be very busy today on his farm.” Observant readers who have noticed Stanley’s pink nose on the cover and title page will also be able to spot said nose poking out of the barn door. So far, so good. The next page shows Stanley on the tractor, atop a simple, effective depiction of soil. The ensuing text teaches agricultural vocabulary and techniques to the toddler set, though without a whole lot of flair. “Stanley pulls the green plow with his red tractor.” Later: “He uses his big green combine. The grain goes into the sacks, and the straw comes out of the back.” Friends Shamus—a mole, perhaps?—and Little Woo, a smaller version of Shamus, help with such activities as spreading manure (“smelly work!”), watering and baling. Patterns of sticklike wheat turning from green to yellow are attractive inclusions. The book ends with the same confusing implication as the beginning: that everything inside the pages represents one day, instead of one growing season, in Stanley’s life. A reference to twice-daily watering is not enough to counteract this.

Steady and bright, this will appeal to toddlers looking for comfort, not thrills. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-56145-803-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2014

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Likely to be popular with young Pete the Cat fans and parents seeking a gentle introduction to preschool.

PETE THE KITTY'S FIRST DAY OF PRESCHOOL

From the Pete the Cat series

The popular character enjoys storytime, painting, and a snack on the very first day of preschool.

The younger incarnation of Pete the Cat packs his backpack that he picked out from the store himself, gets a snack from his mom, and rides the school bus with his big brother, Bob (who isn’t much bigger than Pete, sizewise). At school, Pete meets his stylish teacher, Mrs. Lopez, and fellow feline classmates while keeping his signature cool. The day ends with Pete declaring: “Preschool is awesome! Pete loves everything!” James Dean’s big-eyed cats populate the simply drawn scenes that look as though they were painted in preschool-esque fashion with thick swaths of tempera. At a couple of moments (when he eats his banana and declares it tasty and when he sings along) his customarily expressionless face actually breaks into a smile. Kimberly Dean’s text is uninspired, but it’s in sync with the upbeat tone of the series. Pete’s preschool experience, while not particularly realistic, is a highly positive one; refreshingly, there is no trace of the separation anxiety or anxiousness found in many first-day-of-school books.

Likely to be popular with young Pete the Cat fans and parents seeking a gentle introduction to preschool. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: June 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06243582-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HarperFestival

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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A rudimentary introduction, with licensed characters that are just along for the ride.

IT'S RAMADAN, CURIOUS GEORGE

For one special month, George accompanies a young friend through fasts, feasts, and good works at the mosque.

Such headers as “Waiting for Sunset” and “Sharing with Others,” along with glimpses of stars and crescents in the background and a “Ramadan Mubarak” banner, offer oblique references to some basic themes and symbols, but Ramadan’s purpose, many of its practices, and even the word “Muslim” go unmentioned in this tabbed board book. Khan’s rhyme lumbers along (“George can’t wait for tomorrow, / When the month of Ramadan will start. / It’s a special time of year for his friends, / And George is going to take part!”). Meanwhile, Young plugs George and the Man in the Yellow Hat into scenes with Kareem, his father, and his hijab-wearing mother. (Kareem and his dad appear to be black; his mother is lighter-skinned.) They make cookies, gather with friends at sunset to break their daily fast and pray (offstage), then enjoy “Kabobs, curry, veggies, and rice” with chocolate-dipped bananas for dessert. At the mosque, George helps Kareem make food baskets and tries to pass out the racked shoes until an imam gently stops him. Finally, beneath a thin crescent moon at month’s end, George gets a new vest (and the Man a yellow fez) for the celebration of Eid.

A rudimentary introduction, with licensed characters that are just along for the ride. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: May 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-65226-2

Page Count: 14

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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