Just doesn’t compare to Shelley Moore Thomas and Jennifer Plecas’ similarly themed Get Well, Good Knight (2002) or even to...

SICK DAY

From the I Like To Read series

A sick boy’s devoted friends try to help him feel better.

Dog lies on Boy’s feet to help him get warm, then shares his bone with him. (Boy eats his mom’s chicken soup instead.) Bird comes calling, but Dog tells him Boy is sick, and he flies off, returning with a slice of pizza to help him get well. (Boy doesn’t eat that either.) Feeling better the next day, Boy and Dog head to the tree house and find Bird sick (too much pizza). At this point, the minimalist story devolves even further, losing the slight humor of the first part. “Boy and Dog sit with Bird. // Then Bird is fine. / But Dog is sick.…Boy and Bird sit with Dog. // Then they nap. / Dog jumps up. ‘I am fine,’ he says.” Upon which, the three happily play together with a ball. Unlike its precursor, Boy, Bird, and Dog (2011), this one feels (and reads) like a Dick and Jane primer, stilted language, thin plot and all. McPhail’s ink-and-watercolor artwork depicts the three friends in the softly colored, rounded vignettes on each page that, along with the 64 simple words and short sentences, help those new to reading decode the words.

Just doesn’t compare to Shelley Moore Thomas and Jennifer Plecas’ similarly themed Get Well, Good Knight (2002) or even to the trio’s prior adventure. (Early reader. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2424-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2012

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Energetic and earnest but not groundbreaking.

I'M NOT SCARED, YOU'RE SCARED

Unlikely friends Bear and Rabbit face fears together.

The anthropomorphic creatures set out on an adventure. Graphic-based illustrations give the book a Pixar movie feel, with a variety of page layouts that keep the story moving. Large blocks of black text are heavy on dialogue patterns as timid Bear and bold Rabbit encounter obstacles. Bear fears every one of them, from the stream to the mountain. He’ll do anything to avoid the objects of terror: taking a bus, a train, and even a helicopter. As Rabbit asks Bear if he’s frightened, Bear repeatedly responds, “I’m not scared, you’re scared!” and children will delight in the call-and-response opportunities. Adults may tire of the refrain, but attempts to keep everyone entertained are evident in asides about Bear's inability to brush food from his teeth (he’s too afraid to look at himself in the mirror) and Rabbit's superstrong ears (which do come in handy later). When Rabbit finds herself in danger after Bear defects on the adventure, Bear retraces the trip. Along the way, he notes that the stream wasn't as deep, nor the mountain as high, as he thought when he was scared. While picture-book shelves may not be screaming for another comedically sweet bear story, especially one that treads such familiar territory, many readers will appreciate this tale of overcoming fears. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Energetic and earnest but not groundbreaking. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: March 15, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-35237-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Flamingo Books

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2022

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PIRATES DON'T TAKE BATHS

Echoes of Runaway Bunny color this exchange between a bath-averse piglet and his patient mother. Using a strategy that would probably be a nonstarter in real life, the mother deflects her stubborn offspring’s string of bath-free occupational conceits with appeals to reason: “Pirates NEVER EVER take baths!” “Pirates don’t get seasick either. But you do.” “Yeesh. I’m an astronaut, okay?” “Well, it is hard to bathe in zero gravity. It’s hard to poop and pee in zero gravity too!” And so on, until Mom’s enticing promise of treasure in the deep sea persuades her little Treasure Hunter to take a dive. Chunky figures surrounded by lots of bright white space in Segal’s minimally detailed watercolors keep the visuals as simple as the plotline. The language isn’t quite as basic, though, and as it rendered entirely in dialogue—Mother Pig’s lines are italicized—adult readers will have to work hard at their vocal characterizations for it to make any sense. Moreover, younger audiences (any audiences, come to that) may wonder what the piggy’s watery closing “EUREKA!!!” is all about too. Not particularly persuasive, but this might coax a few young porkers to get their trotters into the tub. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25425-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2011

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