The wild ponies of Assateague Island capture the imagination of nature artist Arnosky (Turtle in the Sea, p. 948, etc.), who describes these beautiful creatures from sunrise to sunset using handsome double-paged acrylic paintings and a nearly rhyming text. Though rhymes are sometimes near misses (sea and breeze) and verses are rather trite: “On Assateague Island / out in the sea, / a mare tends her foal / in the shade of a tree,” the overall effect of the peaceful text and the softly painted illustrations of multi-colored horses and foals “having some wild pony fun” will appeal to young listeners. It might even prove useful as a goodnight story. Arnosky continues to experiment with his art and to perfect his craft; he really is unmatched in his approach to sharing nature with young children. His love and appreciation of the natural world are very evident in this title; he just needs someone to help him with his words. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-7922-7121-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: National Geographic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2002

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Echoes of Runaway Bunny color this exchange between a bath-averse piglet and his patient mother. Using a strategy that would probably be a nonstarter in real life, the mother deflects her stubborn offspring’s string of bath-free occupational conceits with appeals to reason: “Pirates NEVER EVER take baths!” “Pirates don’t get seasick either. But you do.” “Yeesh. I’m an astronaut, okay?” “Well, it is hard to bathe in zero gravity. It’s hard to poop and pee in zero gravity too!” And so on, until Mom’s enticing promise of treasure in the deep sea persuades her little Treasure Hunter to take a dive. Chunky figures surrounded by lots of bright white space in Segal’s minimally detailed watercolors keep the visuals as simple as the plotline. The language isn’t quite as basic, though, and as it rendered entirely in dialogue—Mother Pig’s lines are italicized—adult readers will have to work hard at their vocal characterizations for it to make any sense. Moreover, younger audiences (any audiences, come to that) may wonder what the piggy’s watery closing “EUREKA!!!” is all about too. Not particularly persuasive, but this might coax a few young porkers to get their trotters into the tub. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25425-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2011

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Though it is light on specific information about how and why teeth are lost, most children will enjoy relating to Bear in...


Wilson and Chapman continue this popular series that began with Bear Snores On (2002).

Bear has invited his friends for lunch, when “something wiggled, and it wobbled…something moved when he chewed! It was… / Bear’s / loose / tooth!” In full-bleed spreads with a palette dominated by blues and greens, Chapman ably portrays Bear’s concern over this dental dilemma as well as the genuine empathy and determination of his many animal friends when they try to help remove the tooth. On several pages Bear looks right at readers as he reacts to his predicament, bringing them immediately into the story. After Hare, Mouse, Wren, Owl, Badger and others all fail at prying it loose, Bear “used his tongue and…gave a little nudge” until it falls out. A fairy comes as Bear sleeps and leaves “blueberries where Bear’s tooth had been!” Wilson keeps young readers engaged with rhyming text that keeps the gentle action flowing.

Though it is light on specific information about how and why teeth are lost, most children will enjoy relating to Bear in his latest oh-so-cozy adventure. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4169-5855-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: July 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2011

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