An endearing story that will appeal to a wide age range, including preschoolers, new readers, and older kids who love the...

CLICK, CLACK, HO! HO! HO!

Cronin and Lewin are back with a Christmas story to add to their popular series starring the barnyard buddies from Click, Clack, Moo (2000) and its many successors.

Duck is all ready for Christmas Eve, as evidenced by the Santa hat he wears in a close-up view on the cover. Farmer Brown is preparing for Christmas inside the house, hanging up stockings for some of the animals (but alas, not for poor Duck). Outside, Duck has constructed a zip line running downhill from the barn to the house. Wearing his night-vision goggles, Duck zips over to the house and then tries to go down the chimney before Santa’s arrival. “HO! HO! Uh-oh. Duck is stuck.” In turn, each group of animals zips over to “go up and unstuck Duck” and gets stuck themselves before Santa breaks up the chimney bottleneck in a hilarious, sooty conclusion. A final wordless page shows Santa flying off again, wearing Duck’s night-vision goggles. This is a Christmas story that has it all: beloved characters, physical humor, and an original idea, as well as a short, funny text that effectively uses repeated phrases. Lewin’s loose watercolor illustrations with bold outlines are cozy in the interior scenes and magical in the outdoor settings, with midnight blue skies, dots of white snow, and a hazy full moon that shows off Santa and his reindeer.

An endearing story that will appeal to a wide age range, including preschoolers, new readers, and older kids who love the Click Clack crowd. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4424-9673-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 6, 2015

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A perfect story to enjoy on a “no bones day.”

NOODLE AND THE NO BONES DAY

Graziano tells the story of his TikTok-famous pug, Noodle.

Noodle is a silly, stubborn old pug who likes walks and snacks. “He’s a pug who knows what he wants.” Jonathan, his light-skinned owner, loves taking Noodle for walks and sharing snacks—they are a perfect pair. But one day, when it’s time for a walk, Noodle just lies in his dog bed. Even when Jonathan tries to make Noodle sit up, Noodle flops back down. “It’s like he doesn’t have bones!” says Jonathan. Noodle doesn’t seem sick—he just wants snacks and to stay in bed. Finally, Jonathan asks if Noodle would just like to snuggle instead and receives a strong affirmative from the drowsy pug. Together Noodle and his human enjoy a relaxing “no bones day” and learn an important lesson about rest and why it matters for silly, stubborn old pugs and for the humans who love them, too. Many may already be familiar with Noodle through his TikTok videos (if Noodle remains standing when Graziano lifts him, it’s a “bones day”; among Noodle’s followers, a “no bones day” has come to mean a day for self-care and taking it easy). However, this story stands alone and will likely create new fans for a long time to come. Hand-drawn and painted digitally, Tavis’ illustrations rely on a muted palette and rounded images, depicting an appropriately cozy world. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A perfect story to enjoy on a “no bones day.” (author's note) (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 7, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66592-710-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2022

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Though Jim may have been grumpy because a chimp’s an ape and not a monkey, readers will enjoy and maybe learn from his...

GRUMPY MONKEY

It’s a wonderful day in the jungle, so why’s Jim Panzee so grumpy?

When Jim woke up, nothing was right: "The sun was too bright, the sky was too blue, and bananas were too sweet." Norman the gorilla asks Jim why he’s so grumpy, and Jim insists he’s not. They meet Marabou, to whom Norman confides that Jim’s grumpy. When Jim denies it again, Marabou points out that Jim’s shoulders are hunched; Jim stands up. When they meet Lemur, Lemur points out Jim’s bunchy eyebrows; Jim unbunches them. When he trips over Snake, Snake points out Jim’s frown…so Jim puts on a grimacelike smile. Everyone has suggestions to brighten his mood: dancing, singing, swinging, swimming…but Jim doesn’t feel like any of that. He gets so fed up, he yells at his animal friends and stomps off…then he feels sad about yelling. He and Norman (who regrets dancing with that porcupine) finally just have a sit and decide it’s a wonderful day to be grumpy—which, of course, makes them both feel a little better. Suzanne Lang’s encouragement to sit with your emotions (thus allowing them to pass) is nearly Buddhist in its take, and it will be great bibliotherapy for the crabby, cranky, and cross. Oscar-nominated animator Max Lang’s cartoony illustrations lighten the mood without making light of Jim’s mood; Jim has comically long arms, and his facial expressions are quite funny.

Though Jim may have been grumpy because a chimp’s an ape and not a monkey, readers will enjoy and maybe learn from his journey. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 15, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-553-53786-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

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