BILLY’S BIG-BOY BED

Billy is growing up and out of his crib in this issue-specific story. The little tyke enjoys shopping with his parents for a new big-boy bed, but when it is installed in his room, he’s very reluctant to move out of his crib. It’s in his crib, after all, where he can play bus driver and pirate captain. But most of all, his crib is the reliable safe-haven where he and his six teddy bears cozy in for the night. As Billy grows into the idea his first step is to gradually move his teddy bears to the new, bigger bed. It isn’t too long, however, before Billy himself makes the move. Throughout, Billy’s parents have shown gentle patience in the face of Billy’s ambivalence. They let him get used to the idea at his own pace. In a way that the words do not, Tildes’s (Baby Face, not reviewed, etc.) artwork will draw children in. They can’t help but enjoy the array of teddy bears, each charmingly unique. Drawn with a loving hand, the watercolor illustrations are gentle and realistic; Billy’s expressive face is adorable. This piece seems aimed at parents, instructing them on how best to deal with a child’s reluctance to change. It lacks any real story power, and toddlers may find it less than engrossing—but those who can apply the bed scenario to other life challenges will relate with Billy as he finds that growing up can be daunting. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2001

ISBN: 1-57091-475-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2002

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HOW KIND!

Good deeds beget good deeds in this graphically bold and bright celebration of benevolence. Hen gives Pig an egg, a kindness that inspires him to give a carrot to Rabbit, who in turn picks flowers for Cow, and so on until Pig returns the initial favor by presenting Hen with a chick—hatched from her original egg. The clever turn of events leaves readers wondering if Hen has hornswoggled Pig into doing the work of hatching her egg, or if she is simply thanking him for the gift? The youngest readers and listeners will not be distracted by such concerns and will enjoy shouting out “How kind!” as it’s repeated throughout the text; they may also be inspired to emulate the animals and take turns doing one another kindnesses. Electric pink, sky blue, yellow, orange, purple, and tennis-ball-green ink-and-wash illustrations outlined in heavy black add to the cheer and are complemented by the loose yet readable typeface, created by and named for Murphy (Koala and the Flower, not reviewed, etc.). For just plain storytime fun or for introducing the concept of karma, this is a winner. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: May 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-7636-1732-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2002

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Out of all the titles in the series, Goldilocks’ adventures are the most cogent and age-appropriate.

GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS

From the Les Petit Fairytales series

The flaxen-haired tyke makes her infamous visit to the bears’ house in this simplified adaptation.

The classic story is told with minimal text, one or two words per double-page spread. Goldilocks uses speech bubbles to describe the porridge, chairs and beds (“Too hot. / Too cold. / Just right”). The bears look bemused when they find the girl snoozing in Baby Bear’s bed, and they offer an amicable and winsome goodbye when she dashes off. The richly colored cartoons, likely created with the aid of a computer, present friendly-looking characters with oversize heads. The companion release is a stripped-down version of “Little Red Riding Hood” following the same format and style, right down to the sparkly heroine’s outfit and glittery letters employed on the cover. Youngsters unfamiliar with the story may need adult help to understand that the friendly, cross-dressing wolf has actually swallowed Grandma, since all the readers see is a “Woodsman” examining the wolf’s teeth and then sending the predator away in shame.

Out of all the titles in the series, Goldilocks’ adventures are the most cogent and age-appropriate. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Feb. 25, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8050-9912-6

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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