The silliness should have little listeners asking for repeat readings.

WHAT DOES AN ANTEATER EAT?

A peckish anteater wonders what to nosh on….

An anteater wakes up hungry, sets off to find some yums, and comes upon a sloth. “Good morning. I know this sounds odd, but do you happen to know what an anteater eats?” The lazing sloth says it’s too busy to answer, so the anteater moves on. A toucan suggests the anteater have some watermelon, but the anteater’s mouth is too small. A lumpy python with a rather nauseated look on its face confesses it doesn’t know but advises chewing food well. An alligator offers old fish (which is “delicious”)…the anteater declines. The bats are too busy hunting dinner to help, and the cheetah thinks the anteater looks yummy. When the anteater finally asks some seriously busy ants what to eat, their panicked response says everything…kind of. The ants flee, and the anteater enjoys the bananas they were carrying back to their hill. Collins’ cartoon illustrations in watercolor and charcoal are bright and engaging. Ants march along the bottoms of most double-page spreads as the anteater moves through a generic forest landscape looking to find breakfast. Listeners will giggle all the way through because they know the answer. The text is made up entirely of dialogue, the anteater’s set in boldface roman type and the other animals’ in italics.

The silliness should have little listeners asking for repeat readings. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: July 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0591-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: April 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 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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