With pleasing echoes of Brown’s famous classic, including bookends of a cow jumping over a moon, this bedtime story will...

GOOD DAY, GOOD NIGHT

A new potential classic just right for bedtime, on the 70th anniversary of Goodnight Moon.

With a vintage palette that today’s adults will likely recognize, this tale introduces readers to a lively bunny village nestled in green hills that surround an old oak tree. One bunny eagerly greets the sun as he begins his paper route and then joins a soccer game with friends. Busy neighbors deliver milk and sell pastries in the town. When at last evening approaches, residents return home, and lights blink on to shine into the hushed night. Muted acrylic illustrations portray these two tales of day and night, beginning with the endpapers. Each daytime scene has a nighttime twin—especially the detailed, full-village illustrations—to reassure apprehensive little ones concerned about the gathering dark at bedtime that all will be well during the night. Brown’s spare verse will resonate with caregivers as a read-aloud, with its bouncy rhythm by day and calming lilt by night. Long provides additional depth with captivating spreads that feature numerous opportunities to add visual stories to the tale and small, charming vignettes that contribute to the classic look and feel. (One such makes the all-too-common mistake of depicting a beehive as a wasps’ nest, this one with multiple doors, apartment-style.)

With pleasing echoes of Brown’s famous classic, including bookends of a cow jumping over a moon, this bedtime story will entice families back again and again . (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-238310-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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Likely to be popular with young Pete the Cat fans and parents seeking a gentle introduction to preschool.

PETE THE KITTY'S FIRST DAY OF PRESCHOOL

From the Pete the Cat series

The popular character enjoys storytime, painting, and a snack on the very first day of preschool.

The younger incarnation of Pete the Cat packs his backpack that he picked out from the store himself, gets a snack from his mom, and rides the school bus with his big brother, Bob (who isn’t much bigger than Pete, sizewise). At school, Pete meets his stylish teacher, Mrs. Lopez, and fellow feline classmates while keeping his signature cool. The day ends with Pete declaring: “Preschool is awesome! Pete loves everything!” James Dean’s big-eyed cats populate the simply drawn scenes that look as though they were painted in preschool-esque fashion with thick swaths of tempera. At a couple of moments (when he eats his banana and declares it tasty and when he sings along) his customarily expressionless face actually breaks into a smile. Kimberly Dean’s text is uninspired, but it’s in sync with the upbeat tone of the series. Pete’s preschool experience, while not particularly realistic, is a highly positive one; refreshingly, there is no trace of the separation anxiety or anxiousness found in many first-day-of-school books.

Likely to be popular with young Pete the Cat fans and parents seeking a gentle introduction to preschool. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: June 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06243582-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HarperFestival

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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Innovative and thoroughly enjoyable.

ANIMAL SHAPES

You think you know shapes? Animals? Blend them together, and you might see them both a little differently!

What a mischievous twist on a concept book! With wordplay and a few groan-inducing puns, Neal creates connections among animals and shapes that are both unexpected and so seemingly obvious that readers might wonder why they didn’t see them all along. Of course, a “lazy turtle” meeting an oval would create the side-splitting combo of a “SLOW-VAL.” A dramatic page turn transforms a deeply saturated, clean-lined green oval by superimposing a head and turtle shell atop, with watery blue ripples completing the illusion. Minimal backgrounds and sketchy, impressionistic detailing keep the focus right on the zany animals. Beginning with simple shapes, the geometric forms become more complicated as the book advances, taking readers from a “soaring bird” that meets a triangle to become a “FLY-ANGLE” to a “sleepy lion” nonagon “YAWN-AGON.” Its companion text, Animal Colors, delves into color theory, this time creating entirely hybrid animals, such as the “GREEN WHION” with maned head and whale’s tail made from a “blue whale and a yellow lion.” It’s a compelling way to visualize color mixing, and like Animal Shapes, it’s got verve. Who doesn’t want to shout out that a yellow kangaroo/green moose blend is a “CHARTREUSE KANGAMOOSE”?

Innovative and thoroughly enjoyable. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0534-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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