A pleasant if imperfect celebration of a grandfather-granddaughter relationship and an introduction to the game of golf.

TEA TIME

A day for tea or a day to tee (off)?

Hippopotami Frannie and Grandy, her grandfather, are both preparing for an outing, though each has a different type in mind. Frannie heard tea, so she packs up a picnic lunch, blanket, and tea set. Grandy understood tee, so he collects clubs, balls, shoes, bug spray, and sunblock with the intention of teaching Frannie how to play golf. The mutual misconception continues until the warmly illustrated duo arrive at the golf course and Frannie rushes to a green to spread out her blanket and meal, which is demolished by a driven ball. Unperturbed, the two seamlessly change things up and simply go to the clubhouse for tea and continue their afternoon with a game of minigolf, which Frannie comes to love. Readers are left to their own devices to figure out the mix-up, as there is no obvious moment of recognition by either Frannie or Grandy of their miscommunication, which seems a lost opportunity to introduce at least the idea of homonyms. Moreover, readers don’t get to see Grandy switching gears, which could have added some humor. Still the pair’s loving companionship rings true, and young readers may enjoy figuring out the problem themselves (perhaps with some help). (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A pleasant if imperfect celebration of a grandfather-granddaughter relationship and an introduction to the game of golf. (glossary) (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5247-4108-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together.

HEY, DUCK!

A clueless duckling tries to make a new friend.

He is confused by this peculiar-looking duck, who has a long tail, doesn’t waddle and likes to be alone. No matter how explicitly the creature denies he is a duck and announces that he is a cat, the duckling refuses to acknowledge the facts.  When this creature expresses complete lack of interest in playing puddle stomp, the little ducking goes off and plays on his own. But the cat is not without remorse for rejecting an offered friendship. Of course it all ends happily, with the two new friends enjoying each other’s company. Bramsen employs brief sentences and the simplest of rhymes to tell this slight tale. The two heroes are meticulously drawn with endearing, expressive faces and body language, and their feathers and fur appear textured and touchable. Even the detailed tree bark and grass seem three-dimensional. There are single- and double-page spreads, panels surrounded by white space and circular and oval frames, all in a variety of eye-pleasing juxtapositions. While the initial appeal is solidly visual, young readers will get the gentle message that friendship is not something to take for granted but is to be embraced with open arms—or paws and webbed feet.

A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-375-86990-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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Still, this young boy’s imagination is a powerful force for helping him deal with life, something that should be true for...

OLIVER AND HIS EGG

Oliver, of first-day-of-school alligator fame, is back, imagining adventures and still struggling to find balance between introversion and extroversion.

“When Oliver found his egg…” on the playground, mint-green backgrounds signifying Oliver’s flight into fancy slowly grow larger until they take up entire spreads; Oliver’s creature, white and dinosaurlike with orange polka dots, grows larger with them. Their adventures include sharing treats, sailing the seas and going into outer space. A classmate’s yell brings him back to reality, where readers see him sitting on top of a rock. Even considering Schmid’s scribbly style, readers can almost see the wheels turning in his head as he ponders the girl and whether or not to give up his solitary play. “But when Oliver found his rock… // Oliver imagined many adventures // with all his friends!” This last is on a double gatefold that opens to show the children enjoying the creature’s slippery curves. A final wordless spread depicts all the children sitting on rocks, expressions gleeful, wondering, waiting, hopeful. The illustrations, done in pastel pencil and digital color, again make masterful use of white space and page turns, although this tale is not nearly as funny or tongue-in-cheek as Oliver and His Alligator (2013), nor is its message as clear and immediately accessible to children.

Still, this young boy’s imagination is a powerful force for helping him deal with life, something that should be true for all children but sadly isn’t. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: July 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-7573-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2014

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