Playfulness makes repeated reads a must for fans of cats or calculation.

CATASTROPHE!

A STORY OF PATTERNS

Will learning patterns help these felines fish?

A bevy of kitties sets out to catch some dinner. They line up on the dock. Captain Cat checks their boots: good; and their poles: good…but they are lined up with no regard for life-jacket color, and their lines have become tangled. It’s a “CATastrophe!” Their leader says they need some order, a pattern. First they identify their pattern core, noting that jackets are either orange or green. When they line up orange, green, orange, green—no more tangled lines. (Anglers may question this phenomenon.) Captain Cat calls out the pattern for rowing in the canoe, but the kitties get it wrong and they spin in circles. When they all repeat the pattern core, things move smoothly. The swishing of tails nearly tips the canoe as they wait for a tug on their lines, but another pattern settles things. All the patterning is for naught when two small, wily fish tie the lines to a giant fish, and all the cats end up in the drink. They troop back to camp sodden, but a warm fire and a snack soon have them purring in a pattern as they snooze tucked up in their sleeping bags. Stephens deftly incorporates the concepts of patterns and pattern cores into her simple tale and includes an enjoyable explanatory page at the close as well as integrated seek-and-find challenges. Harney’s bright, energy-filled cartoons are a great match and maintain a fine balance of cute, color, comedy…and cats. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Playfulness makes repeated reads a must for fans of cats or calculation. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 10, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-63592-321-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2021

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GOOD NIGHT, GORILLA

As the sleepy keeper bids him good night, Gorilla snitches his keys; then he creeps after him, letting the other animals out. In a lengthening parade that includes a mouse first seen taking one of Gorilla's bananas, they pad along behind the keeper like faithful dogs, enter his house, and curl up to snooze in his bedroom; Gorilla snuggles into bed next to the keeper's wife. The man is too drowsy to notice, but she does; taking Gorilla by the hand, she leads the whole parade back to the zoo with an air of resignation that suggests this has happened before. Gorilla certainly knows the ropes; he and the mouse (still toting the banana) follow her back, this time to settle in the middle of the bed. The amiable cartoon characters, vibrant palette, and affectionate tone of the author's art recall Thacher Hurd's cheerful illustrations. Delightful. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: April 13, 1994

ISBN: 0-399-22445-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1994

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Energetic and earnest but not groundbreaking.

I'M NOT SCARED, YOU'RE SCARED

Unlikely friends Bear and Rabbit face fears together.

The anthropomorphic creatures set out on an adventure. Graphic-based illustrations give the book a Pixar movie feel, with a variety of page layouts that keep the story moving. Large blocks of black text are heavy on dialogue patterns as timid Bear and bold Rabbit encounter obstacles. Bear fears every one of them, from the stream to the mountain. He’ll do anything to avoid the objects of terror: taking a bus, a train, and even a helicopter. As Rabbit asks Bear if he’s frightened, Bear repeatedly responds, “I’m not scared, you’re scared!” and children will delight in the call-and-response opportunities. Adults may tire of the refrain, but attempts to keep everyone entertained are evident in asides about Bear's inability to brush food from his teeth (he’s too afraid to look at himself in the mirror) and Rabbit's superstrong ears (which do come in handy later). When Rabbit finds herself in danger after Bear defects on the adventure, Bear retraces the trip. Along the way, he notes that the stream wasn't as deep, nor the mountain as high, as he thought when he was scared. While picture-book shelves may not be screaming for another comedically sweet bear story, especially one that treads such familiar territory, many readers will appreciate this tale of overcoming fears. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Energetic and earnest but not groundbreaking. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: March 15, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-35237-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Flamingo Books

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2022

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