An amusing, high-energy outing that teaches an important nature lesson.

OUT IN THE WILD!

A GRAPHIX CHAPTERS BOOK

From the Bug Scouts series , Vol. 1

A quartet of anthropomorphic invertebrates attempt to earn scout badges in the great outdoors.

Lowery kicks off his graphic early chapter book series with a scout’s oath: “All bugs are awesome / and that is a fact. / Raise your leg or antenna / and let’s make a pact.” Four “bug scouts” (two of whom are technically not bugs) introduce themselves; Josh the spider joins Abby the earthworm and Doug (“some kind of bug”) in welcoming Luna the firefly to their troop. The group sets out on a nature walk in order to find an edible plant, and a series of outdoorsy teaching moments culminates in a narrow escape from a (seemingly!) friendly frog: “Come back! I want to eat you! I mean…meet you!” Along with lots of silly jokes and banter and plenty of frantic action, the book delivers a cogent warning about the hazards of eating or sometimes even touching anything unidentified in nature. However, Lowery uses the words toadstool—a term typically reserved for any type of mushroom that is poisonous and thus inedible—and mushroom interchangeably, which may prejudice impressionable young readers against the edible type. Furthermore, some of the natural history presented in the text is a bit dubious. The very simply drawn cartoon art and big lettering make this book appropriate and appealing for beginner and newly independent readers.

An amusing, high-energy outing that teaches an important nature lesson. (Graphic early chapter book. 6-8)

Pub Date: April 5, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-338-72633-6

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2022

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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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