ARRR, MUSTACHE BABY!

From the Mustache Baby series

The hirsute baby buddies (Mustache Baby Meets His Match, 2015, etc.) are back for more adventures!

Mustachioed baby Billy and bearded baby Javier are spending the day at the pool, a perfect place to explore the high seas and rescue shipwrecked passengers (a floating Barbie), save stranded whales (a sunbather lying next to the pool), and fight sea monsters (a snorkeling swimmer). They become fishermen and submarine scientists and Navy sailors….However, two pirates named Capt. Kid and Short John Silver have stolen treasure and are burying it on a deserted island (the sandbox). Sailors Billy and Javier recover the treasure and start to return it to its rightful owners when: Pirates attack! During the resultant duel, Billy’s mustache grows long and curly and Javier’s beard gets pointy—suddenly they are “bad guy” pirates too! Their greed is their undoing, and they are put in the dungeon (separate pack and plays). When they wake, they do everything to become heroes again…even befriend Capt. Kid and Short John Silver. This silly tale of hairy-faced babies who are bad some of the time and learn from their mistakes, Heos and Ang’s third outing together, is a good addition to pirate storytimes or hairy-baby collections. In Ang’s stylized digital illustrations, Billy presents white, presumably Latinx Javier is light brown; Short John Silver is black; and Capt. Kid has olive skin and a fluffy black bob.

Good fun. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: March 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-50652-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2018

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A handsome edition of an old favorite.

WE'RE GOING ON A BEAR HUNT

The familiar cumulative game is played by four children, along with their father and their dog, at the typically British beach pictured on the lovely, expansive first endpaper. 

The children's real activities are shown in b&w drawings; the imaginative doings appear in full color. Although some of the color pages show perfectly possible events, most are clearly fantasy, suggesting just how close the two may be in children's minds. The family ends up in safe retreat in one big cozy bed; the bear is seen--on the second essential, beautiful endpaper--headed into a gloomy sea. Oxenbury's splendid watercolors and drawings perfectly evoke both landscape and the members of the questing family. 

A handsome edition of an old favorite. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 1989

ISBN: 978-0-689-50476-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1989

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Sure to assuage the fears of all astronauts bound for similar missions.

PLANET KINDERGARTEN

A genius way to ease kids into the new adventure that is kindergarten.

In an imaginative ruse that’s maintained through the whole book, a young astronaut prepares for his mission to Planet Kindergarten. On liftoff day (a space shuttle–themed calendar counts down the days; a stopwatch, the minutes), the small family boards their rocket ship (depicted in the illustrations as the family car), and “the boosters fire.” They orbit base camp while looking for a docking place. “I am assigned to my commander, capsule, and crewmates.” Though he’s afraid, he stands tall and is brave (not just once, either—the escape hatch beckons, but NASA’s saying gets him through: “FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION”). Parents will certainly chuckle along with this one, but kindergarten teachers’ stomach muscles will ache: “[G]ravity works differently here. We have to try hard to stay in our seats. And our hands go up a lot.” Prigmore’s digital illustrations are the perfect complement to the tongue-in-cheek text. Bold colors, sharp lines and a retro-space style play up the theme. The intrepid explorer’s crewmates are a motley assortment of “aliens”—among them are a kid in a hoodie with the laces pulled so tight that only a nose and mouth are visible; a plump kid with a bluish cast to his skin; and a pinkish girl with a toothpick-thin neck and huge bug eyes.

Sure to assuage the fears of all astronauts bound for similar missions. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: May 20, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4521-1893-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2014

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