BEST FRINTS IN THE WHOLE UNIVERSE

Occasional disagreements and the need to mend a friendship are universal challenges.

Omek and Yelfred sport the gap-toothed look of human 5- and 6-year-olds, but with sharper teeth. They are neon-berry colored—Yelfred is purple and Omek is pink—and they have tadpolelike tails and antennae. They have grown up together, eating together and playing eye ball, “best frints since they were little blobbies” among the bright and toothy landscapes of their far-off planet, Boborp. But when Yelfred rides up in a sleek new spossip, a blurfday gift, Omek longs to take it for a spin and won’t take no for an answer. As young readers might predict, the spossip gets shmackled. Yelfred is furious, and Omek is hardly contrite: “It was that way when I got it.” Tail biting and harsh words ensue. “Frints on Boborp have been known to use their teef and not their words. (Not like here on planet Earth),” Portis notes wryly. But a détente follows quickly, involving work with a spewdriver and copious amounts of taypo and twire applied to hold the vehicle together. Portis’ bright, odd landscapes, flora and fauna digitally colored in vibrant hues, and her two grinning friends are all sweetly demented and irresistible. An illustrated glossary appears on the endpapers and invites giggles, imitation, and the addition of Boborpian to languages spoken at home.

Cosmically delightful. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62672-136-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Neal Porter/Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2016

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While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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A winning tale about finding new friends.

FOUND

Bear finds a wonderful toy.

Bear clearly loves the toy bunny that he has found sitting up against a tree in the forest, but he wants to help it return to its home. With a wagon full of fliers and the bunny secure in Bear’s backpack, he festoons the trees with posters and checks out a bulletin board filled with lost and found objects (some of which will bring a chuckle to adult readers). Alas, he returns home still worried about bunny. The following day, they happily play together and ride Bear’s tricycle. Into the cozy little picture steps Moose, who immediately recognizes his bunny, named Floppy. Bear has a tear in his eye as he watches Moose and Floppy hug. But Moose, wearing a tie, is clearly grown and knows that it is time to share and that Bear will take very good care of his Floppy. Yoon’s story is sweet without being sentimental. She uses digitized artwork in saturated colors to create a lovely little world for her animals. They are outlined in strong black lines and stand out against the yellows, blues, greens and oranges of the background. She also uses space to great effect, allowing readers to feel the emotional tug of the story.

A winning tale about finding new friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8027-3559-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2014

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