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Will start a dialogue to help children bring big, out-of-control feelings into perspective.

A little bear learns about their emotions.

A young brown bear is initially swarmed by butterflies representing feelings in “different shades, / sizes, colours, textures, shapes. / Big and bold and loud and strong. / A quiet hum. A gentle song.” Couplets, with occasionally forced wording to create the rhyme, detail positive and negative emotions that the bear experiences. Eye-catching illustrations of the big-eyed bear and other adorable animals capture those sentiments, from the calm of a “morning lake. A cloudless sky. / A bubbling creek that skittles by” to the chaos of emotions that “creep from / nowhere, fast!” Sometimes, strong feelings make the bear want to hide; they even manifest themselves in physical symptoms. “Head hurts. Sore tum. Cannot sleep.” But the little bear learns to cope (“Stop. / Breathe in. / Big breath out”) and to remember a bad feeling is “okay. / It’s just the way I feel today.” The text is didactic in places, but this little bear is very relatable, and their experiences will encourage young children to share their emotions and struggles. Detailed backmatter, with suggestions for discussing feelings, activities, and “tips for managing big feelings,” will support adults as they help children understand and moderate their emotions. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Will start a dialogue to help children bring big, out-of-control feelings into perspective. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 11, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-922677-29-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Five Mile Press/Trafalgar

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2023

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From the Find Momo series , Vol. 7

A well-meaning but lackluster tribute.

Readers bid farewell to a beloved canine character.

Momo is—or was—an adorable and very photogenic border collie owned by author Knapp. The many readers who loved him in the previous half-dozen books are in for a shock with this one. “Momo had died” is the stark reality—and there are no photographs of him here. Instead, Momo has been replaced by a flat cartoonish pastiche with strange, staring round white eyes, inserted into some of Knapp’s photography (which remains appealing, insofar as it can be discerned under the mixed media). Previous books contained few or no words. Unfortunately, virtuosity behind a lens does not guarantee mastery of verse. The art here is accompanied by words that sometimes rhyme but never find a workable or predictable rhythm (“We’d fetch and we’d catch, / we’d run and we’d jump. Every day we found new / games to play”). It’s a pity, because the subject—a pet’s death—is an important one to address with children. Of course, Momo isn’t gone; he can still be found “everywhere” in memories. But alas, he can be found here only in the crude depictions of the darling dog so well known from the earlier books.

A well-meaning but lackluster tribute. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2024

ISBN: 9781683693864

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Quirk Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2023

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A sweet and endearing feathered migration.

A relationship between a Latina grandmother and her mixed-race granddaughter serves as the frame to depict the ruby-throated hummingbird migration pattern.

In Granny’s lap, a girl is encouraged to “keep still” as the intergenerational pair awaits the ruby-throated hummingbirds with bowls of water in their hands. But like the granddaughter, the tz’unun—“the word for hummingbird in several [Latin American] languages”—must soon fly north. Over the next several double-page spreads, readers follow the ruby-throated hummingbird’s migration pattern from Central America and Mexico through the United States all the way to Canada. Davies metaphorically reunites the granddaughter and grandmother when “a visitor from Granny’s garden” crosses paths with the girl in New York City. Ray provides delicately hashed lines in the illustrations that bring the hummingbirds’ erratic flight pattern to life as they travel north. The watercolor palette is injected with vibrancy by the addition of gold ink, mirroring the hummingbirds’ flashing feathers in the slants of light. The story is supplemented by notes on different pages with facts about the birds such as their nest size, diet, and flight schedule. In addition, a note about ruby-throated hummingbirds supplies readers with detailed information on how ornithologists study and keep track of these birds.

A sweet and endearing feathered migration. (bibliography, index) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0538-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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