Young readers may not quite make the leap from a desolate frog missing winter to a cranky child not wanting to sleep, but...

I DON'T WANT TO GO TO SLEEP

Always displaying a penchant for the dramatic, Petty and Boldt’s young amphibian is back for a fourth installment of childhood angst—bedtime.

The tiny frog is so excited for winter he can’t contain himself. He is going to have a blast throwing snowballs, drinking hot cocoa, and cozying up in warm clothing. But his friend, a wise owl, breaks some bad news: “Frogs hibernate.” The young frog’s flippant response? “I don’t know what that means, but I don’t like it.” Owl explains, but the frog doesn’t want to hear it. He has to burrow in the mud all winter, while his friends have endless fun? The embodiment of pure despair, the young tot opens his mouth and eyes wide with terror, his horrified expression taking up an entire spread. Luckily, a compromise is reached—one that doesn’t bode well for his nonhibernating friends. Silliness abounds, with a nod toward the nature of coldbloodedness, as Boldt variously shows a crispy, smoldering frog near the winter fire and an ice-block frog, frozen in place.

Young readers may not quite make the leap from a desolate frog missing winter to a cranky child not wanting to sleep, but it’s a fun read-aloud that will at least make bedtime more enjoyable. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6896-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

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Instills a sense of well-being in youngsters while encouraging them to explore the natural world.

YOU ARE HOME WITH ME

This reassuring picture book exemplifies how parents throughout the animal kingdom make homes for their offspring.

The narrative is written from the point of view of a parent talking to their child: “If you were a beaver, I would gnaw on trees with my teeth to build a cozy lodge for us to sleep in during the day.” Text appears in big, easy-to-read type, with the name of the creature in boldface. Additional facts about the animal appear in a smaller font, such as: “Beavers have transparent eyelids to help them see under water.” The gathering of land, air, and water animals includes a raven, a flying squirrel, and a sea lion. “Home” might be a nest, a den, or a burrow. One example, of a blue whale who has homes in the north and south (ocean is implied), will help children stretch the concept into feeling at home in the larger world. Illustrations of the habitats have an inviting luminosity. Mature and baby animals are realistically depicted, although facial features appear to have been somewhat softened, perhaps to appeal to young readers. The book ends with the comforting scene of a human parent and child silhouetted in the welcoming lights of the house they approach: “Wherever you may be, you will always have a home with me.”

Instills a sense of well-being in youngsters while encouraging them to explore the natural world. (Informational picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-63217-224-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little Bigfoot/Sasquatch

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together.

HEY, DUCK!

A clueless duckling tries to make a new friend.

He is confused by this peculiar-looking duck, who has a long tail, doesn’t waddle and likes to be alone. No matter how explicitly the creature denies he is a duck and announces that he is a cat, the duckling refuses to acknowledge the facts.  When this creature expresses complete lack of interest in playing puddle stomp, the little ducking goes off and plays on his own. But the cat is not without remorse for rejecting an offered friendship. Of course it all ends happily, with the two new friends enjoying each other’s company. Bramsen employs brief sentences and the simplest of rhymes to tell this slight tale. The two heroes are meticulously drawn with endearing, expressive faces and body language, and their feathers and fur appear textured and touchable. Even the detailed tree bark and grass seem three-dimensional. There are single- and double-page spreads, panels surrounded by white space and circular and oval frames, all in a variety of eye-pleasing juxtapositions. While the initial appeal is solidly visual, young readers will get the gentle message that friendship is not something to take for granted but is to be embraced with open arms—or paws and webbed feet.

A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-375-86990-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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