A sly and funny take on truth-telling and friendship.

GROUNDHOG'S DILEMMA

Announcing six more weeks of winter earns Groundhog both friends and grumblers.

When Groundhog sees his shadow, half the animals cheer, and the other half groan. But things really go downhill when spring finally arrives. Bear and Squirrel see nap-happy Hare give Groundhog a basket of berries as a gift for the extra weeks of slumber, so Squirrel invites him to a ballgame, hoping to cozen Groundhog into declaring an early spring next year. Though he initially protests, “I don’t actually control the weather. I just report it,” he finds that he’s enjoying the attention. Pretty soon, Groundhog gives in, and his social calendar fills up with picnics, bonfires, and more ballgames. Stricken by conscience as winter nears, he goes to the barn for advice from Owl, who simply says—wisely—that Groundhog got himself into this problem and must solve it himself. When Groundhog Day rolls around again, he risks disfavor by telling the truth and invites his friends to his home for a warm-up and some snacks. And so they pass much of those six extra weeks of winter, comfortably. Faulkner's anthropomorphic animals and vibrant colors recall Uncle Wiggly, and the illustrations are packed with humorous details that repay rereadings. Remenar's graceful prose and the subtlety of her message, pitched to older preschoolers and early-elementary students, are a good match.

A sly and funny take on truth-telling and friendship. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-58089-600-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: Sept. 16, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2015

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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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