Flower-calendar quibble aside, an optimistic, upbeat story.


From the Wild Fairies series , Vol. 1

Event coordinator Daisy must find a theme for the Blossom Bash that will please everyone.

While the current abundance of rain will benefit the flowers, it also poses a challenge: The accelerated, early bloom gives them less time than usual to prepare. Each fairy suggests their own flower or color to decorate Sugar Oak, putting Daisy in the unenviable role of being the deciding vote. (Gardeners will note the flowers listed are not all early spring blooms.) In the meantime, Daisy checks on other fairies’ preparations, troubleshooting their problems (from food and music decisions to recommending honey for seasonal allergies). Indigo’s garlands of materials from all over the forest inspire Daisy to go for an eclectic theme, allowing each fairy to decorate part of Sugar Oak however they wish. The full effect of the assortment, as well as the acceptance of an earlier than optimal bloom, is summed up by Daisy and stands as the story’s theme: “We all know we can’t control nature. We can only appreciate all that it gives us. And that’s what this celebration is really about!” In Kurilla’s frequent, full-color illustrations, Daisy is depicted with brown skin and blonde curls, and other fairies have skin and hair of all the colors of the rainbow; one fairy in the primary cast is male. Information about honey follows the story, as do a recipe, a dramatis personae, and some games.

Flower-calendar quibble aside, an optimistic, upbeat story. (Fantasy. 6-8)

Pub Date: May 8, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-63565-132-4

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Rodale Kids

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends


From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably...


A lad finds a penguin on his doorstep and resolutely sets out to return it in this briefly told import. 

Eventually, he ends up rowing it all the way back to Antarctica, braving waves and storms, filling in the time by telling it stories. But then, feeling lonely after he drops his silent charge off, he belatedly realizes that it was probably lonely too, and turns back to find it. Seeing Jeffers’s small, distant figures in wide, simply brushed land- and sea-scapes, young viewers will probably cotton to the penguin’s feelings before the boy himself does—but all’s well that ends well, and the reunited companions are last seen adrift together in the wide blue sea. 

Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably with this—slightly—less offbeat friendship tale. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-399-24503-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet