MONK CAMPS OUT

Monk’s first camping experience is difficult, especially for his parents. When Monk decides that tonight is perfect for his first camp out in the back yard, his doting parents agree, but need his reassurance that he’ll be OK. When he has trouble pitching his tent, they help “only a little.” Monk isn’t home for dinner, so they bring him some camp grub in a lunch box. Dinner is lonely, and the evening is long. They just have to give him a good night hug and kiss and stay up until he decides to come in. Meanwhile, Monk is having a fine time and rejects his parents’ suggestion that he come inside. During the night, Monk wakes up and needs his mitt. His parents who have been sleeping in their living room wake up and need to make sure he’s all right. In a delightful two-page spread, McCully (Outlaw Thanksgiving, 1998) shows Monk coming into the front door, as his parents are going out the side door. They all trade places. Monk sleeps in his mother’s chair. His parents sleep outside the tent and when they meet in the morning Monk proudly announces that he camped out all night by himself. Parents will enjoy reading this affectionate view of their concerns about the growing independence of their offspring. Younger children will like the story and the older ones will get the inside joke. McCully’s pen and ink and watercolor illustrations tell the story with humor and charm and round out the spare text. (Picture book. 46)

Pub Date: April 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-439-09976-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2000

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An unabashed love letter from mother.

I LOVE YOU, LITTLE POOKIE

From the Little Pookie series

A sweet celebration of the bond between a mother and her Pookie.

The eighth installment in this always charming series eschews the episodic drama and silliness of earlier outing such as Spooky Pookie (2015) in favor of a mom’s-eye-view celebration of her child and the time they spend together. There is, of course, nothing wrong with drama and silliness. But while the lack of conflict and plot in favor of unapologetic sentiment makes this book a quick read, that doesn’t make it any less endearing. The rhymed verse captures a mother’s wonder as she observes the many facets of her child’s personality: “Ah, Pookie. My little one. My funny one. My child. // Sometimes you are quiet. Sometimes you are wild.” On the simple joys of shared moments, she notes, “I love to go walking with you by my side. / I love when we sing when we go for a ride. // And I love just to watch as you think and you play. / The way that you are is a wonderful way.” Paired with author/illustrator Boynton’s irresistible renderings of a porcine mommy and her playful, snuggly little piglet, the result is impossible to fault. Whether quietly reading, running in a tiger suit, singing with mom in the car, ears flapping in the breeze, or enjoying the safety of mom’s embrace, Pookie’s appeal continues unabated.

An unabashed love letter from mother. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5344-3723-4

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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The greeting-card art and jokey rhymes work for the baby-shower market but not for the youngest readers.

I LOVE YOU LIKE NO OTTER

Animal parents declare their love for their offspring through rhymed puns and sentimental art.

The title sets the scene for what’s to come: The owl asks the owlet as they fly together, “WHOO loves you?”; the kangaroo and joey make each other “very HOPPY”; and the lioness and cub are a “PURRRFECT pair.” Most of the puns are both unimaginative and groanworthy, and they are likely to go over the heads of toddlers, who are not know for their wordplay abilities. The text is set in abcb quatrains split over two double-page spreads. On each spread, one couplet appears on the verso within a lightly decorated border on pastel pages. On the recto, a full-bleed portrait of the animal and baby appears in softly colored and cozy images. Hearts are prominent on every page, floating between the parent and baby as if it is necessary to show the love between each pair. Although these critters are depicted in mistily conceived natural habitats and are unclothed, they are human stand-ins through and through.

The greeting-card art and jokey rhymes work for the baby-shower market but not for the youngest readers. (Board book. 6 mos-2)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-1374-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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