Serene, quietly joyous and utterly life-affirming.


Three friends with different philosophies spend a companionable day together, crocheting and weathering storms.

Boom is a bear, Twitty a robin and Snot a snail. Boom and Snot lie on their stomachs near a tree, reading, while Twitty crochets with pink yarn. Presently, the decisions begin. Twitty suggests staying where they are; Boom suggests going somewhere; Snot suggests waiting. So they each do: Twitty stays put (up the tree, where she’d already gone), Boom goes somewhere (up the tree to join her), and Snot waits on the ground, gathering yarn. When storm clouds arrive, Boom—standing on the treetop—leans into the wind and yells “Jump!”; Twitty shelters her yarn and cries “Hold on!”; Snot closes her eyes and murmurs, “Wind!” Lightning and a downpour make Boom yell “Run!” and Twitty cry “Hide!,” while Snot smiles and sighs, “Rain!” Here’s the subtle magnificence: Nary a speck of alienation from one another mars their vastly different approaches, nor does the text portray Snot’s easily found pleasure as more enlightened. The pale, softly colored backgrounds are bare, highlighting the characters, tree, yarn and dynamic weather. Liwska’s crosshatchings, downy edges and bright animal eyes are entrancing and tranquil. The crochet project progresses finely, growing (it’s briefly a tree cozy), unraveling (Boom jumps off the tree wearing it as a cape) and ending up someplace perfect.

Serene, quietly joyous and utterly life-affirming. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: April 17, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-670-78575-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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


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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Grown-ups be warned: Young fingers will delight in pressing the tractor’s buttons (and yours!) over and over.


From the I Can Learn series

Little ones can explore a day in the life of a rubber-covered, audio-enabled tractor.

The “5 noisy parts!” promised on the cover are powered by a battery embedded in the back of the book, the compartment securely screwed shut. Youngsters are prompted by the text to press various parts of the tractor to make interesting sound effects, such as an engine starting then chugging, a horn, and tire noise on muddy or rocky terrain. A large, tractor-shaped die-cut hole in every page allows children to access the vehicle on every double-page spread but leaves the left-hand pages dominated by that tractor-shaped hole. Farm animals make their signature sounds via speech bubble (horses, chicks, and cows, to name a few) along with other critters offering suggestions about which buttons on the tractor to press. For additional play value, a ladybug and a caterpillar can be spotted on every double-page spread. Labels for most of the animals appear in a clear font along with other farm-centric vocabulary words: pitchfork, seedlings, trough. Elliott’s art is busy, but the simple, eye-catching patterns and graphically clean lines in bright colors will appeal to the audience. While this offering is perfect for toddlers, the extensive warnings in the fine print on the back of the book about what may happen if the button battery is swallowed should scare adults into being vigilant. Thankfully, there is an on/off switch allowing for toggling between a quiet and noisy reading experience.

Grown-ups be warned: Young fingers will delight in pressing the tractor’s buttons (and yours!) over and over. (Novelty board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68010-669-5

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet