Young readers will come away with fresh insights into both poo and peacemaking.

RABBIT'S BAD HABITS

From the Rabbit & Bear series

A bear’s kindness and generosity sweeten a grumpy rabbit’s sour outlook in this wintry woodland encounter.

Gough aims both high and low. On the one hand, he shows how the peaceable responses of Bear, equanimity unshaken despite discovering that her food stores have disappeared, to Rabbit’s rude comments and behavior gradually work a profound change in his character—and on the other, in the course of their exchanges, he has the long-eared lagomorph deliver a clinically explicit, hilariously extended disquisition on why his kind eats its own poo. Bear goes even further, saving Rabbit from an attacking wolf and then, when he shamefacedly produces the food that he had (yes) stolen earlier, inviting him to join her for a moonlit picnic and a snuggle in her cozy den. The narrative, laid out in short, well-leaded lines, likewise snuggles on every page with Field’s duotone cartoon scenes of the two furry figures meeting, parting, starting separate snowmen but ultimately coming together to finish one, and finally sharing a honeycomb and other goodies before bedding down in the warm den. When, showing a newly awakened sense of compassion, Rabbit wonders if the snowman is lonely, Bear has the perfect solution: “In the morning,” she murmurs drowsily, “we can make him a friend.”

Young readers will come away with fresh insights into both poo and peacemaking. (Animal fantasy. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68412-588-3

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Silver Dolphin

Review Posted Online: Nov. 21, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2018

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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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