Punctuated with zaniness, McMullan’s litany nevertheless offers a quiet, calming rhythm to help little ones nod off.

HOW DO YOU GO TO SLEEP?

Twelve animals go to sleep in very different ways—which one do you resemble the most?

Writing in cadenced, lulling rhyme, McMullan compares animal sleeping habits to those of various children, inviting readers to ponder their own slumbering style. Squirrel, Octopus, Parrot, and Meerkat have specific bedtime rituals. How similar are they to yours? “Is a tree your cozy bed? / Do you turn purple, orange, and red? // Rest your head upon your back? / Sleep with others in a stack? / NO!” Hanson’s comfy illustrations show young tots attempting the silly situations. Readers are introduced to zebras, dolphins, pigeons, and more along with diverse human children trying out the many bedtime positions (alas, two floating pool snoozes look very similar). Anticipating the certain choruses of giggling “NO”s from young readers as they contemplate the scenarios, McMullan ends with a summation characterized by mock exasperation: “Well, when you go to bed, / if you don’t sleep / a tree sleep or sea sleep, / a tuck sleep or heap sleep,… / …a float sleep or sun sleep / how DO you sleep?” Four pages in which a young, black-presenting moppet engages in a typical human bedtime ritual sets things to rights.

Punctuated with zaniness, McMullan’s litany nevertheless offers a quiet, calming rhythm to help little ones nod off. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-57944-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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Yes, the Pigeon has to go to school, and so do readers, and this book will surely ease the way.

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THE PIGEON HAS TO GO TO SCHOOL!

From the Pigeon series

All the typical worries and excuses kids have about school are filtered through Willems’ hysterical, bus-loving Pigeon.

Told mostly in speech balloons, the bird’s monologue will have kids (and their caregivers) in stitches at Pigeon’s excuses. From already knowing everything (except whatever question readers choose to provide in response to “Go ahead—ask me a question. / Any question!”) to fearing learning too much (“My head might pop off”), Pigeon’s imagination has run wild. Readers familiar with Pigeon will recognize the muted, matte backgrounds that show off the bird’s shenanigans so well. As in previous outings, Willems varies the size of the pigeon on the page to help communicate emotion, the bird teeny small on the double-page spread that illustrates the confession that “I’m… / scared.” And Pigeon’s eight-box rant about all the perils of school (“The unknown stresses me out, dude”) is marvelously followed by the realization (complete with lightbulb thought bubble) that school is the place for students to practice, with experts, all those skills they don’t yet have. But it is the ending that is so Willems, so Pigeon, and so perfect. Pigeon’s last question is “Well, HOW am I supposed to get there, anyway!?!” Readers will readily guess both the answer and Pigeon’s reaction.

Yes, the Pigeon has to go to school, and so do readers, and this book will surely ease the way. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-368-04645-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 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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