Budding engineers of any species will agree that Oona has well earned the right to feel “just as big as a duck should feel.”...

BIM, BAM, BOP… AND OONA

A farmyard duck who’s not built for speed finds a way to win the morning race down to the pond.

Being big of chest and stubby of leg, Oona stands no chance against her three slimmer, longer-limbed fellow ducks in the morning rush. “Last is a blot on my life,” she kvetches to her friend Roy the frog. “I don’t feel as big as a duck should feel.” But, as Roy reminds her, she is “good with gizmos,” and maybe, just maybe she could concoct something to give her that needed boost? Good with gizmos she proves to be, and though the wobbly cart and the workout machine she cobbles together from unlikely assortments of junk stored in the shed fail to fill the bill, a climactic inspiration involving laundry, a basket, and a launch from the barn’s roof really puts the wind beneath her wings (so to speak). Soon Bim, Bam, Bop, and even Roy are asking for rides. Martin tells the tale in rollicking cadences just right for reading aloud—”A gust of wind grabbed the sails and up she went. OOO-hoolie-hoo!”—and with fine comic flair Day sets the (more or less) naturalistically depicted tinkerer, every feather bristling with concentration, amid enticing jumbles of pulleys, ropes, and buckets of detritus.

Budding engineers of any species will agree that Oona has well earned the right to feel “just as big as a duck should feel.” (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-15179-0395-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Univ. of Minnesota

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

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The message is worthy, but this phoned-in follow-up doesn’t add anything significant.

THE WORLD NEEDS MORE PURPLE SCHOOLS

From the My Purple World series

A color-themed vision of what school should be like.

In what amounts to a rehash of The World Needs More Purple People (2020), Bell and Hart address adult as well as young readers to explain what “curious and kind you” can do to make school, or for that matter the universe, a better place. Again culminating in the vague but familiar “JUST. BE. YOU!” the program remains much the same—including asking questions both “universe-sized” (“Could you make a burrito larger than a garbage truck?”) and “smaller, people-sized” (i.e., personal), working hard to learn and make things, offering praise and encouragement, speaking up and out, laughing together, and listening to others. In the illustrations, light-skinned, blond-haired narrator Penny poses amid a busy, open-mouthed, diverse cast that includes a child wearing a hijab and one who uses a wheelchair. Wiseman opts to show fewer grown-ups here, but the children are the same as in the earlier book, and a scene showing two figures blowing chocolate milk out of their noses essentially recycles a visual joke from the previous outing. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

The message is worthy, but this phoned-in follow-up doesn’t add anything significant. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 21, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-43490-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: April 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2022

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A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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