Kirkus Star
THE KIRKUS STAR
Awarded to Books of Exceptional Merit




Series: I Like to Read


I SAID, "BED!" by Bruce Degen
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: March 15, 2014

"A mixed bag of a book. (Early reader. 5-7)"
A book written for new readers seems more like fare for the toddler set. Read full book review >
THE BIG FIB by Tim Hamilton
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: March 15, 2014

"A sweet, if uneven, story. (Early reader. 5-7)"
A fib made right paves the way to intergenerational friendship. Read full book review >
FIX THIS MESS! by Tedd Arnold
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: March 15, 2014

"An inept commander and his clueless robot—there are lots of satisfying possibilities there, and Arnold taps into them. (Early reader. 4-8)"
A "remote operating basic utility gizmo"—call him Robug for short—comes to clean Jake the dog's mess, turning the house into hash in the process. Read full book review >
CAN YOU SEE ME? by Ted Lewin
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: March 15, 2014

" An inviting exploration of a beautiful biome for budding nature lovers. (Early reader. 2-6)"
Sharp-eyed readers are invited to spot various animals in the Costa Rican rain forest. Read full book review >
ED AND KIP by Kay Chorao
Released: March 15, 2014

"An engaging tale of friendship, play and cooperation, replete with mild suspense and gentle humor. (Early reader. 2-6)"
There's always fun to be had if you know where to look. Read full book review >
BAD DOG by David McPhail
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: March 15, 2014

"Tom is full of curiosity, like a lot of young'uns. Not bad at all. (Early reader. 2-7)"
A preschool-age boy narrates this short early reader, a straightforward story about a mischievous dog and the boy who loves him. Read full book review >
LITTLE DUCKS GO by Emily Arnold McCully
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: March 15, 2014

"Very few readers will remain unmoved as that mother duck runs from grating to grating, trying to catch a glimpse of her children; everyone loves a duck. (Early reader. 3-8)"
This tale of duckling rescue has a surprisingly large cast for a 32-page picture book. Read full book review >
WHAT AM I? WHERE AM I? by Ted Lewin
Released: Sept. 1, 2013

"This latest entry in the I Like to Read series can be paired with Lewin's Look! (2012) as natural history for the very young. (Early reader. 2-6)"
A straightforward guessing game connects iconic animals to their habitats. Read full book review >
PETE WON'T EAT  by Emily Arnold McCully
Released: Sept. 1, 2013

"New readers will eat this up. (Early reader. 5-7)"
This charmer of an early reader presents an ironic twist on the tried-and-true picky-eater character by casting him as a pig. Read full book review >
ME TOO! by Valeri Gorbachev
Released: Sept. 1, 2013

"From their adventures in the snow to a warm snuggle in their tiny and huge beds, Bear and Chipmunk are friends that new readers will want to turn to again and again. Here's hoping there will be more. (Picture book. 2-7)"
Bear and Chipmunk enjoy a day together in the snow. Read full book review >
FIREMAN FRED  by Lynne Rowe Reed
Released: Sept. 1, 2013

"While the vocabulary is certainly easy and limited (alone and chief are the two hardest words), beginning readers will have heard enough stories about firefighters to spot the problems. (Early reader. 4-6)"
A title for beginning readers, this entry in the I Like to Read series follows Fireman Fred from the firehouse, out on a call and back again. Read full book review >
HAPPY CAT by Steve Henry
Released: Sept. 1, 2013

"Plenty of visual cues, lots of repetition and a clear story arc make this a perfect choice for beginning readers—and parents pressed for time will likely be happy to find such a short, sweet read-aloud. (Early reader.4-7)"
This cheery entry in the I Like to Read series successfully tells a simple tale and creates a sense of community using just 20 unique words. Read full book review >
COME BACK, BEN by Ann Hassett
Released: Sept. 1, 2013

"Hello, Ben! We're glad you're here. (Early reader. 4-6)"
This excellent early reader will send new readers' confidence soaring. Read full book review >
SAM AND THE BIG KIDS by Emily Arnold McCully
Released: April 1, 2013

"While this may open the door for discussion, the lack of a real conclusion may leave readers unsatisfied. (Easy reader. 4-7)"
Can there be a positive side to a pesky little brother who won't leave his big sister and her friend to their play? Read full book review >
CAR GOES FAR by Michael Garland
Released: April 1, 2013

"An inviting, accessible title for new readers. (Early reader. 5-7)"
Garland's little red car invites children along for a ride to reading success. Read full book review >
I HAVE A GARDEN by Bob Barner
Released: April 1, 2013

"Sweet and sturdy. (Early reader. 2-7)"
Barner's entry in the I Like to Read series features an appealing white dog narrating a simple text. Read full book review >
SEE ME DIG by Paul  Meisel
Released: April 1, 2013

"New readers will dig this. (Early reader. 5-8)"
In this gem of an early reader, a cast of cavorting canines find more than they expected when they start digging—namely a scary bear, buried treasure, pirate ghosts and heavy construction equipment. Read full book review >
YOU CAN DO IT! by Betsy  Lewin
Released: April 1, 2013

"A winner of an early reader. (Early reader. 5-7)"
Channeling the can-do attitude of a certain little engine, Lewin's alligator comes out on top with some help from his friend and despite the bullying of another gator. Read full book review >
LOOK! by Ted Lewin
Kirkus Star
by Ted Lewin, illustrated by Ted Lewin
Released: March 1, 2013

"A satisfying challenge and a fun animal adventure made thrilling by Lewin's characteristically spectacular use of light. (Early reader. 2-6)"
With wide-eyed amazement, a boy observes animals on the African savanna. Read full book review >
SICK DAY by David McPhail
Released: Sept. 1, 2012

"Just doesn't compare to Shelley Moore Thomas and Jennifer Plecas' similarly themed Get Well, Good Knight (2002) or even to the trio's prior adventure. (Early reader. 4-7)"
A sick boy's devoted friends try to help him feel better. Read full book review >
THE FLY FLEW IN by David  Catrow
Released: Sept. 1, 2012

"Have fun with this fly. (Early reader. 2-6)"
A frolicsome fly disrupts a fancy concert. Read full book review >
PIG HAS A PLAN by Ethan Long
Released: Sept. 1, 2012

"Proving even pooped piggies are ready to party, this will make children want to join in. (Early reader. 4-7)"
A noisy barnyard is no place for a nap! Read full book review >
MICE ON ICE by Rebecca Emberley
Released: Sept. 1, 2012

"An accessible, inviting title for brand new readers. (Picture book/early reader. 4-6)"
The latest collaboration from the father-and-daughter team is nice indeed. Read full book review >
I WILL TRY by Marilyn Janovitz
Released: April 1, 2012

"This cheery selection will bring feelings of accomplishment and security to new readers and budding gymnasts alike. (Picture book/early reader. 2-5)"
This girl is ready for a challenge! Read full book review >
FISH HAD A WISH by Michael Garland
Released: April 1, 2012

"From the beaver's coat to the tiger lily's petals to the snakeskin, this fish tale is a keeper. (Picture book/early reader. 4-8)"
Take a conventional story, add a new art technique—and voilà, a striking picture book is born. Read full book review >
THE LION AND THE MICE by Rebecca Emberley
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 15, 2011

"Likely a bit more turquoise and abstract than Aesop had in mind, but fantastic visual fun. (Early reader/folktale. 2-5)"
Aesop's lion and mouse (or mice, as this case has it) have never looked more stylish. Read full book review >
DINOSAURS DON'T, DINOSAURS DO by Steve Björkman
NONFICTION
Released: Sept. 15, 2011

Straightforward behavior modeling for newly fledged independent readers.

Illustrating his points with pairs of bright, informally drawn and colored cartoons featuring recognizable dinos in modern playgrounds and other familiar settings, Björkman contrasts bad manners with better ones. Read full book review >

BOY, BIRD, AND DOG by David McPhail
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 15, 2011

"This one could work as a read-aloud, child to adult, with lots of pictorial details to notice and talk about. A sweet, gentle charmer. (Early reader. 4-7)"
Boy has a small adventure in a tree house with Bird and Dog. Read full book review >
SEE ME RUN by Paul  Meisel
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 15, 2011

A dog set free to run and roam in a dog park uncovers an archeological surprise.

In a manner reminiscent of a Dick and Jane reader, Meisel begins his minimal, patterned text with the simple and repetitive "See me run. / I run and run." Read full book review >