A bedtime countdown rhyme for every little farmer.

FIVE FUZZY CHICKS

These fluffy chicks are ready for action…or are they?

The day is about done on this busy farm. The sun has nearly set, and everyone is tired from a good day’s work…except for five smiling, different-hued chicks who want to go for a run. “Five fuzzy chicks / run past the plow, / into the grass, / and under the cow. / The cow says, ‘Moo! Moo!’ / The chicks say, ‘Cheep! Cheep!’ / But the grass is so cozy… // one chick falls asleep.” Four chicks run on and meet the pigs. After a dance, three are ready to proceed…but one falls asleep on a mossy rock with the pigs. The three play with Rover, a smiling terrier…but one finds the pooch too cozy to leave, and a snuggle occurs. Another finds the horse’s hay too comfy to pass by, and the last falls asleep in the sheep’s fleece. A determined “Mama Hen hurries / to gather her troop. / She scoops them all up… / …and runs back to the coop.” And finally those five fuzzy chicks settle down in their cozy nest. Murray and Hanson have created what feels like an old classic that’s simultaneously fresh and sweet. The watercolor-and-pencil illustrations, all full-bleed, are soft and just realistic enough to ensure recognizability. These fuzzy-edged farm animals sport big eyes and anthropomorphic smiles; the farming family, seen in only one scene, is white.

A bedtime countdown rhyme for every little farmer. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 11, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-30122-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Imprint

Review Posted Online: Nov. 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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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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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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