Vibrant illustrations and a relatable message.

FIRST BROOM

A little witch learns how to fly a broom after some initial wobbles and woes.

Under a full moon, the excited witch heads out for her first flight. This maiden voyage isn’t easy, and she has to break out her wand to stop the runaway broom. Eventually, the little witch and the little broom work together, and she carefully tries to fly again. George’s simple, rhyming text bounces along. The brown-skinned, pink-haired witch is utterly adorable. Her ensemble alone imbues her with personality, from her forest-green outfit to her flower-laden oversize hat to her magenta boots. The young witch’s expressions are used to great effect. A particularly compelling layout shows bright blue tears brimming in her eyes as she watches other flying witches silhouetted against the moon. The palette largely includes deep shades of purple with gold and blue-green complements. There are no specific references to Halloween, but pumpkins appear in the backgrounds on some pages. The storyline is very much in the spirit of a child learning to ride a bike for the first time; there are struggles and frustrations at first, but ultimately the young witch is exuberant as she successfully takes off. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Vibrant illustrations and a relatable message. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 28, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-338-80392-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 30, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together.

HEY, DUCK!

A clueless duckling tries to make a new friend.

He is confused by this peculiar-looking duck, who has a long tail, doesn’t waddle and likes to be alone. No matter how explicitly the creature denies he is a duck and announces that he is a cat, the duckling refuses to acknowledge the facts.  When this creature expresses complete lack of interest in playing puddle stomp, the little ducking goes off and plays on his own. But the cat is not without remorse for rejecting an offered friendship. Of course it all ends happily, with the two new friends enjoying each other’s company. Bramsen employs brief sentences and the simplest of rhymes to tell this slight tale. The two heroes are meticulously drawn with endearing, expressive faces and body language, and their feathers and fur appear textured and touchable. Even the detailed tree bark and grass seem three-dimensional. There are single- and double-page spreads, panels surrounded by white space and circular and oval frames, all in a variety of eye-pleasing juxtapositions. While the initial appeal is solidly visual, young readers will get the gentle message that friendship is not something to take for granted but is to be embraced with open arms—or paws and webbed feet.

A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-375-86990-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

more