This cozy duo shows why every day should be Thanksgiving.


A gentle reminder to give thanks for all that you have.

One day, a rabbit and a frog ramble around their rural community with two purposes in mind. First, they share their thanks for their world filled with comfort, friends, food, family, nature, and affection. “We give thanks for cousins / and for fathers and for mothers. / We give thanks for grandpas / and for sisters and for brothers.” One couplet bobbles the scansion but is charming nevertheless. Another, scent-filled verse hints at “noses” and creatively rhymes “roses” with “toeses.” And as they make their way, the rabbit and the frog also seem to issue invitations to everyone in the community, resulting in a friend-filled feast and their final message of inclusion: “Bless our nights and bless our days / and bless all those we meet. // We give thanks for everything, / and now… // it’s time to EAT!” In places, illustrations with pops of neon blue, pink, green, and purple against a generally pastel palette play whimsically with the gentle text. However, the bright green frog in a fluorescent pink, feathered hat is giggleworthy, as is his creative yellow portrait of a brown dog and the studio cat dripping with yellow paint in a picture where literal readers may expect the yellow dog and yellow cat of the verse. Young readers will also appreciate snow-capped mountains in neon blue and shocking pink and the creative, but perhaps out of control, vehicles. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

This cozy duo shows why every day should be Thanksgiving. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4424-6507-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2021

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Safe to creep on by.


Carle’s famous caterpillar expresses its love.

In three sentences that stretch out over most of the book’s 32 pages, the (here, at least) not-so-ravenous larva first describes the object of its love, then describes how that loved one makes it feel before concluding, “That’s why… / I[heart]U.” There is little original in either visual or textual content, much of it mined from The Very Hungry Caterpillar. “You are… / …so sweet,” proclaims the caterpillar as it crawls through the hole it’s munched in a strawberry; “…the cherry on my cake,” it says as it perches on the familiar square of chocolate cake; “…the apple of my eye,” it announces as it emerges from an apple. Images familiar from other works join the smiling sun that shone down on the caterpillar as it delivers assurances that “you make… / …the sun shine brighter / …the stars sparkle,” and so on. The book is small, only 7 inches high and 5 ¾ inches across when closed—probably not coincidentally about the size of a greeting card. While generations of children have grown up with the ravenous caterpillar, this collection of Carle imagery and platitudinous sentiment has little of his classic’s charm. The melding of Carle’s caterpillar with Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE on the book’s cover, alas, draws further attention to its derivative nature.

Safe to creep on by. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-448-48932-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2021

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As ephemeral as a valentine.


Daywalt and Jeffers’ wandering crayons explore love.

Each double-page spread offers readers a vision of one of the anthropomorphic crayons on the left along with the statement “Love is [color].” The word love is represented by a small heart in the appropriate color. Opposite, childlike crayon drawings explain how that color represents love. So, readers learn, “love is green. / Because love is helpful.” The accompanying crayon drawing depicts two alligators, one holding a recycling bin and the other tossing a plastic cup into it, offering readers two ways of understanding green. Some statements are thought-provoking: “Love is white. / Because sometimes love is hard to see,” reaches beyond the immediate image of a cat’s yellow eyes, pink nose, and black mouth and whiskers, its white face and body indistinguishable from the paper it’s drawn on, to prompt real questions. “Love is brown. / Because sometimes love stinks,” on the other hand, depicted by a brown bear standing next to a brown, squiggly turd, may provoke giggles but is fundamentally a cheap laugh. Some of the color assignments have a distinctly arbitrary feel: Why is purple associated with the imagination and pink with silliness? Fans of The Day the Crayons Quit (2013) hoping for more clever, metaliterary fun will be disappointed by this rather syrupy read.

As ephemeral as a valentine. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-9268-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2021

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