An adorable first book in a new series for animal lovers.

TRUMAN THE DOG

From the My Furry Foster Family series

A rescue dog gets into some silly hijinks with his foster family.

Eight-year-old Japanese American Kaita Takano and her family have decided to foster a black Lab named Truman. When Truman arrives, he’s a little shy, but it doesn’t take long for him to get comfortable with the Takano family and their dachshund, Ollie. Fostering brings new challenges and lessons, especially when Truman finds trouble, like eating a whole box of treats or rolling in the trash. Kaita grows to love Truman and learns fostering an animal is difficult when you have to say goodbye. Florence’s first in a new chapter-book series is divided into five chapters meant for readers making the transition from early readers. The focus on fostering animals rather than adopting them brings the topics of caregiving and sacrifice to light. Demmer adds fun, full-color illustrations, bringing the lovable Truman to life. The characters are culturally diverse, and cultural customs are reflected in the illustrations—characters go barefoot inside the Takano house, for instance. Based on a real-life Kaita, the book offers a backmatter section with photographs comparing the real and fictional Kaitas. It also provides discussion questions, activities, and a glossary. Buttons the Kitten releases simultaneously, and the Takanos will foster hamsters and a bearded dragon in future outings.

An adorable first book in a new series for animal lovers. (Fiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5158-4560-7

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Picture Window Books

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably...

LOST AND FOUND

A lad finds a penguin on his doorstep and resolutely sets out to return it in this briefly told import. 

Eventually, he ends up rowing it all the way back to Antarctica, braving waves and storms, filling in the time by telling it stories. But then, feeling lonely after he drops his silent charge off, he belatedly realizes that it was probably lonely too, and turns back to find it. Seeing Jeffers’s small, distant figures in wide, simply brushed land- and sea-scapes, young viewers will probably cotton to the penguin’s feelings before the boy himself does—but all’s well that ends well, and the reunited companions are last seen adrift together in the wide blue sea. 

Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably with this—slightly—less offbeat friendship tale. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-399-24503-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

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