A tasty chaser for Toby Speed’s Brave Potatoes(2000) or any version of the Gingerbread Man.

ARNIE THE DOUGHNUT

From the Adventures of Arnie the Doughnut series

Keller (Toys!, 2000, etc.) gives “pet food” a new meaning in this savory outing. 

Proud of his sprinkles and chocolate icing, Arnie the doughnut takes his place at the bakery counter, and watches his tray mates depart with customers until it’s finally his turn. His excitement at being taken out into the wide world in a paper bag changes to horror when he discovers that he’s about to be eaten; fortunately, he is spared that fate, as the gent who bought him suddenly has no appetite for a talking doughnut. But if Arnie’s not to be breakfast, then what? After rejecting several career alternatives (“ ‘You’d make a fine paperweight.’ ‘BORING.’ ‘How about an air freshener for my car?’ ‘How about not?’ ”), Arnie settles at last on becoming a doughnut-dog, and rolls on to a happily-ever-after as Man’s Best Friend. Strewn with text lines, onlooking pastries, snappy side comments, unusual road signs, and other details, the frenetic postmodern illustrations may require more than one run-through to absorb—but so deliciously silly is this confection, that few readers will pass up second helpings. 

A tasty chaser for Toby Speed’s Brave Potatoes(2000) or any version of the Gingerbread Man. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-8050-6283-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2003

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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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NO MATTER WHAT

Small, a very little fox, needs some reassurance from Large in the unconditional love department. If he is grim and grumpy, will he still be loved? “ ‘Oh, Small,’ said Large, ‘grumpy or not, I’ll always love you, no matter what.’ “ So it goes, in a gentle rhyme, as Large parries any number of questions that for Small are very telling. What if he were to turn into a young bear, or squishy bug, or alligator? Would a mother want to hug and hold these fearsome animals? Yes, yes, answers Large. “But does love wear out? Does it break or bend? Can you fix it or patch it? Does it mend?” There is comfort in Gliori’s pages, but it is a result of repetition and not the imagery; this is a quick fix, not an enduring one, but it eases Small’s fears and may well do the same for children. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-15-202061-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1999

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