Unlikely to solve picky problems.


Can a picky piggy learn to eat right?

Piper is a good piglet: She works hard in school, loves to dance, and is great at rolling in the mud. However, she will eat only foods that start with P. When presented with waffles, eggs, and OJ at breakfast, she declares “Nope! Not gonna eat it!” Her parents ask her to eat just five bites, so she eats exactly five bites…and complains that the waffles aren’t pancakes, the egg was not poached, and there was no pulp in the juice. After five bites of lunch she complains that the turkey sandwich is not peanut butter and the cookie wasn’t pie. Dinner meets with Piper’s disapproval too. Mom gets a special cookbook that suggests hiding veggies in a pineapple upside-down cake, but Piper’s not fooled. Mom “loses her piggy marbles.” Piper is punished. After five nights without dinner, she’s so hungry she tries new foods and likes them! The piggy parable Parkinson serves up is less than fulfilling. Piper’s parents never explain why she should eat sensibly. Their facile solution to a behavior they must have fostered in the past is to starve her for five days—hardly groundbreaking. Clester’s bright, perky illustrations of anthropomorphic pigs are attractive, but they’re little more than the proverbial lipstick, literally and figuratively.

Unlikely to solve picky problems. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5158-2943-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Capstone Young Readers

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2018

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Delicious on its own, and it will pair well with other books about gardens, plants and healthy eating habits.


This simplest of informational picture books offers a sensible, sunny celebration of the plants—specifically the parts of plants—that we eat.

The opening scene shows a boy seated at table surrounded by a rich harvest. He’s holding a watermelon rind that mirrors the wide grin he wears, helping to set the good-natured tone of the book. As preschoolers examine the pages, they will learn about the featured fruits and vegetables and how they grew. Warm gouache-and–colored-pencil illustrations first depict a garden where “Plants reach up for the sun. / They grow down in the ground.” As the narrator goes on to explain that “I eat different parts from different plants,” such as roots, tubers, bulbs, stems, flowers and seeds, youngsters will find labeled images to peruse. The short, declarative sentences are easily digested by the very youngest and will tempt burgeoning readers to test their skills. Best of all, children will surely be inspired to taste some of the produce the next time it appears on their plates.

Delicious on its own, and it will pair well with other books about gardens, plants and healthy eating habits. (Informational picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2526-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

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A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.


Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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