When the nurse offers some healthy recipes and the students brainstorm a few fun exercises for recess, everyone gets in on...

MISS FOX'S CLASS SHAPES UP

From the Miss Fox series , Vol. 4

In her fourth outing, when Miss Fox notices sleepy students, rumbly tummies and huffs and puffs at recess, she realizes that her class needs some help getting into better shape.

When the nurse offers some healthy recipes and the students brainstorm a few fun exercises for recess, everyone gets in on the action—the principal, the custodian and even the kids’ families. Soon the children are giving each other ideas. When Bear tells the class that he can’t sleep after watching Robo-Lobster, his friends list some things he can do instead of watching television. Squirrel shares his healthy snack with Mouse so she won’t eat candy. And it’s not long before Raccoon finds a solution to Frog’s sleep troubles. All the hard work pays off on Field Day, when Miss Fox’s class comes in first, but even better is the increased energy and good feelings they all have enjoyed because of their efforts. As in earlier installments, Miss Fox’s students embrace change almost too easily to be believable, and Spinelli glosses over the difficult work that goes into changing habits. Kennedy’s cast of anthropomorphized animals is comprised of an appealing range of emotions and attitudes, while the endpapers give readers a few more ways to get into better shape.

Pub Date: July 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-8075-5171-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2011

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A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably...

LOST AND FOUND

A lad finds a penguin on his doorstep and resolutely sets out to return it in this briefly told import. 

Eventually, he ends up rowing it all the way back to Antarctica, braving waves and storms, filling in the time by telling it stories. But then, feeling lonely after he drops his silent charge off, he belatedly realizes that it was probably lonely too, and turns back to find it. Seeing Jeffers’s small, distant figures in wide, simply brushed land- and sea-scapes, young viewers will probably cotton to the penguin’s feelings before the boy himself does—but all’s well that ends well, and the reunited companions are last seen adrift together in the wide blue sea. 

Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably with this—slightly—less offbeat friendship tale. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-399-24503-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

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