A well-crafted tale about healthy adaptation to new environs merges with superb artwork.


When young Caro moves to a new home with her mum, she derives comfort and strength from a mysterious, large, white lion.

The cover art and endpapers immediately draw readers into a world where a lion as enormous and gentle as the famous red dog Clifford will play a starring role. The story begins, however, with a dark, nighttime double-page spread showing a car heading up a hill toward Caro’s new house. Next, Caro explores her new home’s interior, as art verifies text: “The walls were white, the ceilings were white, and even the doors were white.” When Caro wishes for a playmate, the Snow Lion appears, and for a full week the two play and play. More than once, the wise Snow Lion encourages Caro to play with other children, and she finally connects, at the playground, with a welcoming boy named Bobby. Eventually, Caro’s mother engages Bobby and other young friends in a house-painting party. Will the colors eliminate the Snow Lion? The mixed-media artwork is a splendid complement, using just enough detail and geometric patterns against large planes of muted colors, both indoors and out. The human figures have solid, toddlerlike appearances, while the Snow Lion is appropriately well-camouflaged against the house’s white walls. Caro has pale skin and curly, auburn hair; Bobby is a boy of color with brown skin and black hair.

A well-crafted tale about healthy adaptation to new environs merges with superb artwork. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68263-048-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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


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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A winning tale about finding new friends.


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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet