Who says morality tales can’t be fun?

IT'S ONLY ONE!

The animals of Sunnyville—and preschool readers—learn how one animal’s action can snowball into something bad or good.

The opening double-page spread shows over a dozen vividly colorful anthropomorphic cartoon animals happily engaged in various activities against a low-detail background of a pale blue village. Bold black print on the verso declares: “Sunnyville was perfect. Friendly and fun. It twinkled with perfect loveliness!” Yellow speech bubbles from animals affirm the collective happiness with cheerful or kind comments. The text at the bottom of the recto warns, “But then, without thinking….” On the next spread, there is excellent contrast in the art: A field of aquamarine backgrounds a large rhinoceros—clad in a red-and-white shirt and blue overalls—who tosses a candy wrapper behind its bulky shoulder. Rhino’s assertion that “It’s only one” is the beginning of Sunnyville’s quick downward trend from lovely to most unpleasant. Other animals follow Rhino’s bad example until the village is trashed. After Giraffe has picked “only one” flower and Penguin blasts out “only one” song on a portable Victrola, Sunnyville has plummeted dangerously. Can Mouse turn things around with one small, kind action? Giraffe is male, Mouse female, others unassigned. Repetition, onomatopoeia, short phrases, and excellent art and design make this a great read-aloud for the very young. The story is followed by sweet (but probably not attention-holding) tips on being a good neighbor.

Who says morality tales can’t be fun? (author’s note, illustrator’s note) (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68010-227-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Another solid addition to the beloved series.

LLAMA LLAMA BACK TO SCHOOL

Summertime with all its pleasures is coming to an end, and school will soon begin again. What challenges will the new school year bring for Llama?

Told in a by-now-trademark rhyming verse style and accompanied by adorable, cheerful oil paint, colored pencil, and oil pastel illustrations, this story finds Llama taking pleasure in all the fun that summer brings—and hoping it will never be over. “Fishing, hiking, slip and slide. / Backyard camping, picnic time.” But as sure as one season follows another, fall is on its way and school will be starting again. Mamma Llama takes Llama shopping for new school supplies, but the expression on little Llama’s face makes it clear that preparing to return to school is anything but fun. Soon, the first day of school comes, and Llama is ready. There are so many rules: “Be on time. / Don’t push or shove. Stand in line. / Do not shout. Raise your hand.” “Lunch in cubbies. Coats on hooks.” But these are seasoned students, and they take it in stride. All except for one: A young rhino is new and feeling scared. Llama knows just what to do, sharing crayons and showing the newcomer how to glue. Soon the rhino is part of the gang. As is characteristic of the series, this is one more situation familiar to many a young child solved in sweet Llama style. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Another solid addition to the beloved series. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: May 31, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-35244-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 25, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Still, this young boy’s imagination is a powerful force for helping him deal with life, something that should be true for...

OLIVER AND HIS EGG

Oliver, of first-day-of-school alligator fame, is back, imagining adventures and still struggling to find balance between introversion and extroversion.

“When Oliver found his egg…” on the playground, mint-green backgrounds signifying Oliver’s flight into fancy slowly grow larger until they take up entire spreads; Oliver’s creature, white and dinosaurlike with orange polka dots, grows larger with them. Their adventures include sharing treats, sailing the seas and going into outer space. A classmate’s yell brings him back to reality, where readers see him sitting on top of a rock. Even considering Schmid’s scribbly style, readers can almost see the wheels turning in his head as he ponders the girl and whether or not to give up his solitary play. “But when Oliver found his rock… // Oliver imagined many adventures // with all his friends!” This last is on a double gatefold that opens to show the children enjoying the creature’s slippery curves. A final wordless spread depicts all the children sitting on rocks, expressions gleeful, wondering, waiting, hopeful. The illustrations, done in pastel pencil and digital color, again make masterful use of white space and page turns, although this tale is not nearly as funny or tongue-in-cheek as Oliver and His Alligator (2013), nor is its message as clear and immediately accessible to children.

Still, this young boy’s imagination is a powerful force for helping him deal with life, something that should be true for all children but sadly isn’t. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: July 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-7573-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more