A gentle picture book about friendship, patience, and love.

THE LONGER THE WAIT, THE BIGGER THE HUG

From the Hedgehog & Friends series

All winter long, Hedgehog hibernates.

During this long sleep, Hedgehog dreams of Tortoise. Hedgehog and Tortoise are best friends, and the cold winter months are hard to survive without their usual best-friend hugs. When spring finally arrives, Hedgehog wakes up, eager to find Tortoise and to get that long-awaited hug. But Tortoise is missing, and no matter how hard Hedgehog looks, they can’t find their best friend. Although disappointed, Hedgehog tries to make the best of things. But Badger’s paws are too sticky to hold, Magpie turns out to be an extremely demanding beach playmate, and Squirrel is a disaster at hide-and-seek. Hedgehog keeps looking for Tortoise, but when Tortoise is still missing, Hedgehog starts to lose hope. Eventually, a wise owl advises Hedgehog that sometimes, if the wait is long, the reunion is especially rewarding—in other words, “the longer the wait, the bigger the hug.” Happily, Hedgehog’s patience pays off, and when Hedgehog and Tortoise are reunited (it turns out Tortoise slightly overslept), their first hug is as epic as Owl promised—so epic that the whole forest comes out to celebrate. This sweet, gentle picture book perfectly pairs sincere and humorous text with watercolor-and-pen sketches that utilize a soothing pastel palette. The storyline is simple, clean, and lively, and the book’s message makes it the perfect tool to start conversations about missing friends and family.

A gentle picture book about friendship, patience, and love. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-571-37038-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Faber & Faber

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2021

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This ambitious, interactive exploration of color will be of particular appeal to dog lovers.

COLOR DOG

A chunky board book about colors features photographs of dogs and incorporates many interactive elements.

Even the front cover of this title is interactive. Pull a large red tab, and a bulldog’s head moves back and forth as he chews on the shoelace of a red tennis shoe. Inside, further interactive features, rhyming text, and illustrations featuring cute pups and their adorable antics await. For example, the orange pages offer a collage of pumpkins, autumn foliage, puppies, and a cat, reading: “Orange the patch of pumpkins, / Orange the autumn leaves, / Orange the frumpy, napping cat… / that I chase up a tree.” One of the pumpkins is a flap that conceals the face of a precious pup, and another, larger flap hides a pop-up tree branch on which an orange kitty perches. Other pages incorporate some more noxious surprises, such as: “Green the swamp I love to swim in, / Green the summer grass, / Green the color of the air… / when my dog food gives me gas.” Pull the tab here to trigger a large green cloud that emanates from the back end of a suitably embarrassed-looking basset hound.

This ambitious, interactive exploration of color will be of particular appeal to dog lovers. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4814-4986-1

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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

I AM A BIG BROTHER

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

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