A gentle picture book about friendship, patience, and love.

THE LONGER THE WAIT, THE BIGGER THE HUG

From the Hedgehog & Friends series

All winter long, Hedgehog hibernates.

During this long sleep, Hedgehog dreams of Tortoise. Hedgehog and Tortoise are best friends, and the cold winter months are hard to survive without their usual best-friend hugs. When spring finally arrives, Hedgehog wakes up, eager to find Tortoise and to get that long-awaited hug. But Tortoise is missing, and no matter how hard Hedgehog looks, they can’t find their best friend. Although disappointed, Hedgehog tries to make the best of things. But Badger’s paws are too sticky to hold, Magpie turns out to be an extremely demanding beach playmate, and Squirrel is a disaster at hide-and-seek. Hedgehog keeps looking for Tortoise, but when Tortoise is still missing, Hedgehog starts to lose hope. Eventually, a wise owl advises Hedgehog that sometimes, if the wait is long, the reunion is especially rewarding—in other words, “the longer the wait, the bigger the hug.” Happily, Hedgehog’s patience pays off, and when Hedgehog and Tortoise are reunited (it turns out Tortoise slightly overslept), their first hug is as epic as Owl promised—so epic that the whole forest comes out to celebrate. This sweet, gentle picture book perfectly pairs sincere and humorous text with watercolor-and-pen sketches that utilize a soothing pastel palette. The storyline is simple, clean, and lively, and the book’s message makes it the perfect tool to start conversations about missing friends and family.

A gentle picture book about friendship, patience, and love. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-571-37038-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Faber & Faber

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2021

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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Grown-ups be warned: Young fingers will delight in pressing the tractor’s buttons (and yours!) over and over.

NOISY TRACTOR

From the I Can Learn series

Little ones can explore a day in the life of a rubber-covered, audio-enabled tractor.

The “5 noisy parts!” promised on the cover are powered by a battery embedded in the back of the book, the compartment securely screwed shut. Youngsters are prompted by the text to press various parts of the tractor to make interesting sound effects, such as an engine starting then chugging, a horn, and tire noise on muddy or rocky terrain. A large, tractor-shaped die-cut hole in every page allows children to access the vehicle on every double-page spread but leaves the left-hand pages dominated by that tractor-shaped hole. Farm animals make their signature sounds via speech bubble (horses, chicks, and cows, to name a few) along with other critters offering suggestions about which buttons on the tractor to press. For additional play value, a ladybug and a caterpillar can be spotted on every double-page spread. Labels for most of the animals appear in a clear font along with other farm-centric vocabulary words: pitchfork, seedlings, trough. Elliott’s art is busy, but the simple, eye-catching patterns and graphically clean lines in bright colors will appeal to the audience. While this offering is perfect for toddlers, the extensive warnings in the fine print on the back of the book about what may happen if the button battery is swallowed should scare adults into being vigilant. Thankfully, there is an on/off switch allowing for toggling between a quiet and noisy reading experience.

Grown-ups be warned: Young fingers will delight in pressing the tractor’s buttons (and yours!) over and over. (Novelty board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68010-669-5

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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