Kids will look forward to their own field days after reading about this one.

FERGUS AND ZEKE AND THE FIELD DAY CHALLENGE

From the Fergus and Zeke series

The lovable class pets are back (Fergus and Zeke, 2017), this time experiencing field day.

The two mice do everything that their human classmates do, from science experiments to gym exercises. So they anticipate loads of fun when Miss Maxwell announces field day: hurdles, a waterslide, a tug of war, a hula-hoop contest, a sack race, and a parachute game. But reality doesn’t measure up, literally in the case of the mice: The limbo isn’t even a challenge, they almost get trampled in a race, the water balloons are too heavy, and kickball? “Absolutely terrifying.” The only solution is for Fergus and Zeke to make their own field-day events using found objects: an acorn for tossing, some sticks for a high jump, a lost bracelet for a hula hoop, and a plastic grocery bag for a parachute…which comes in handy when the two mice have to get back to their second-story classroom window without hitching a ride with a human classmate. Once again, Ross’ digital illustrations both break up the text, which is a bridge between easy readers and chapter books, and provide kids with a fun, mouse-sized view of the world; the duo’s repurposing of small items is particularly charming.

Kids will look forward to their own field days after reading about this one. (Early reader. 6-9)

Pub Date: April 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0202-1

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2020

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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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