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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There’s nothing especially new here, but the good-natured celebration of books, reading, and libraries will charm fellow...

THE BOOK HOG

A porcine hoarder of books learns to read—and to share.

The Book Hog’s obsession is clear from the start. Short declarative sentences describe his enthusiasm (“The Book Hog loved books”), catalog the things he likes about the printed page, and eventually reveal his embarrassing secret (“He didn’t know how to read”). While the text is straightforward, plenty of amusing visual details will entertain young listeners. A picture of the Book Hog thumbing through a book while seated on the toilet should induce some giggles. The allusive name of a local bookshop (“Wilbur’s”) as well as the covers of a variety of familiar and much-loved books (including some of the author’s own) offer plenty to pore over. And the fact that the titles become legible only after our hero learns to read is a particularly nice touch. A combination of vignettes, single-page illustrations and double-page spreads that feature Pizzoli’s characteristic style—heavy black outlines, a limited palette of mostly salmon and mint green, and simple shapes—move the plot along briskly. Librarians will appreciate the positive portrayal of Miss Olive, an elephant who welcomes the Book Hog warmly to storytime, though it’s unlikely most will be able to match her superlative level of service.

There’s nothing especially new here, but the good-natured celebration of books, reading, and libraries will charm fellow bibliophiles, and the author’s fans will enjoy making another anthropomorphic animal friend. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-368-03689-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

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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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