A silly and surprising picture book that will quickly join regular rotation.

EAT PETE!

A monster looks for a snack.

Preschooler Pete is playing cars in his bedroom when a purple-furred, horned, and snaggle-toothed monster peers through the window. Pete invites the monster to play, but the monster’s intentions are made clear by the thought bubble hovering over his head: This monster wants to “EAT PETE!” Luckily for Pete, this monster is easily distracted and decides that “playing cars looked like fun.” Pete and the monster cheerfully race cars, play pirates, and build with blocks together; each time they switch activities, the monster first thinks about eating Pete and then decides to play. But this doesn’t last long: By the book’s middle, the monster does in fact eat Pete, the act presaged by a moment when the monster’s enormous, drooling face occupies the entire double-page spread just behind oblivious, smiling Pete. But after that? Playing alone is not so much fun. Rex smartly teases out the will-he, won’t-he just long enough for readers to assume it’ll never happen before shocking little ones with the deed. A happy ending awaits, but little readers will be briefly flabbergasted and quite giggly. Rex’s clean-lined cartoons are beautifully paced, the monster looming over the round-headed white boy and then pulling back again and again before a nearly wordless spread in which the monster sits, satisfied, one hand on his tummy before his final change of heart.

A silly and surprising picture book that will quickly join regular rotation. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 14, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-3880-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2018

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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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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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