WHERE’S PUP?

Keeping lines to four words or less but with vocabulary that will challenge emergent readers, Dodds (The Kettles Get New Clothes, 2002, etc.) sends a clown across circus grounds in search of an errant puppy. Using a bright red-orange color scheme with occasional flashes of deep blue, Pratt (No, No, Jack!, 2002, etc.) depicts the diminutive searcher questioning a succession of busy acrobats and animal tenders: “Hi there, Jess! Hi there, Bess! Where’s Pup?” “Can’t see. Go ask Lee. He’s launching Dee.” Finally the quest ends: “Can’t find Pup? Just look up”—at a page that unfolds . . . and unfolds . . . and unfolds again to reveal a human pyramid with the smiling stray at the very top. Fans of P.D. Eastman’s Are You My Mother? (1960), Eric Hill’s Where’s Spot? (1980), and a plethora of similar hide-and-seek variants will welcome this fresh addition to the genre, particularly for its crowd-pleasing climax. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-8037-2744-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2003

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TACKY AND THE WINTER GAMES

Lester’s Tacky is tacky, though he is even more a Society of Oddfellows unto himself, a pleasing misfit among his righteous penguin cohort of Goodly, Lovely, Angel, Neatly and Perfect. Tacky is joyously oblivious of their rectitude as they prepare for the penguin Winter Games, pumping iron and skipping rope as Tacky catches a few zzz’s and equips his exer-cycle with a horn and tassels, chows pizza and donuts as the others dutifully swallow their spinach (and Munsinger is perfect here, easily capturing both sniffyness and unbridled appetite). Tacky unintentionally subverts the rules of the Games, winning but losing as officials disqualify his unorthodox stratagems. Finally, his team grabs a victory despite the fact that Tacky ate the baton. A citizen of the deep cold, it’s another Frost that Tacky emulates, the one who recommends the road not taken. Tacky, the clueless role model, takes it all the time. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 24, 2005

ISBN: 0-618-55659-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Walter Lorraine/Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2005

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Nice enough but not worth repeat reads.

THERE'S A ROCK CONCERT IN MY BEDROOM

Emma deals with jitters before playing the guitar in the school talent show.

Pop musician Kevin Jonas and his wife, Danielle, put performance at the center of their picture-book debut. When Emma is intimidated by her very talented friends, the encouragement of her younger sister, Bella, and the support of her family help her to shine her own light. The story is straightforward and the moral familiar: Draw strength from your family and within to overcome your fears. Employing the performance-anxiety trope that’s been written many times over, the book plods along predictably—there’s nothing really new or surprising here. Dawson’s full-color digital illustrations center a White-presenting family along with Emma’s three friends of color: Jamila has tanned skin and wears a hijab; Wendy has dark brown skin and Afro puffs; and Luis has medium brown skin. Emma’s expressive eyes and face are the real draw of the artwork—from worry to embarrassment to joy, it’s clear what she’s feeling. A standout double-page spread depicts Emma’s talent show performance, with a rainbow swirl of music erupting from an amp and Emma rocking a glam outfit and electric guitar. Overall, the book reads pretty plainly, buoyed largely by the artwork. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Nice enough but not worth repeat reads. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 29, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-35207-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

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