A high-energy read with plenty of kid appeal.


Nightshades clash more than just their personalities in this high-energy picture book.

A potato is very excited about getting a pair of potato pants. He rushes to Lance Vance’s Fancy Pants store, along with a horde of other tubers, googly eyes, smiles, and teeth drawn haphazardly onto collaged-in photographs and drawings. But one giant eggplant is also in the pants store, trying on a loud yellow garment patterned with pineapples. At first the potato argues that “Eggplants don’t even wear pants!” (perhaps that would be too ridiculous). It turns out that “Yesterday was Eggplant Pants Day,” but the potato is still suspicious; “Yesterday,” he says, “I was walking along, minding my own potato-y business…when he ran by and PUSHED ME right into a trash can!” Not wanting to patronize the same establishment, the potato lurks outside the store, even calling a grocery store in the hopes they might sell tater togs (or even a pair of “cucumber cords”), to no avail. Finally he bursts into the store, sending the eggplant flying, only to find that another root has snatched up the last pair of pants. Two apologies and one pair of display pants later, the conflict is all patched up, and the two friends dance the Robot. Zany and meandering, this story will make kids laugh despite the uneven pacing and maybe even model the art of apology.

A high-energy read with plenty of kid appeal. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-10723-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Christy Ottaviano/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

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Still, preschoolers will likely savor this mouthwatering treatment of a subject that looms large in many early school...


The familiar theme of the challenges facing a new kid in town is given an original treatment by photographer Border in this book of photos of three-dimensional objects in a simple modeled landscape.

Peanut Butter is represented by a slice of white bread spread with the popular condiment. The other characters in the story—a hamburger with a pair of hot dogs in tow, a bowl of alphabet soup, a meatball jumping a rope of spaghetti, a carton of French fries and a pink cupcake—are represented by skillfully crafted models of these foods, anthropomorphized using simple wire construction. Rejected by each character in turn in his search for playmates, Peanut Butter discovers in the end that Jelly is his true match (not Cupcake, as the title suggests), perhaps because she is the only one who looks like him, being a slice of white bread spread with jelly. The friendly foods end up happily playing soccer together. Some parents may have trouble with the unabashedly happy depiction of carbs and American junk food (no carrots or celery sticks in this landscape), and others may find themselves troubled by the implication that friendship across difference is impossible.

Still, preschoolers will likely savor this mouthwatering treatment of a subject that looms large in many early school experiences. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 29, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-399-16773-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2014

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A funny but touching story about learning to accept who you are.


A green lovebird—green with envy—wants more than he can have.

All his life, Lou, a lovable young lovebird, has known little of the world beyond his doting flock and the corner of the beautiful island they call home. Then one day, he visits the other side of the island and discovers many other wonderful birds, from pelicans to flamingos to nightingales. Lou observes that each species has a unique and amazing gift, so much so that being a lovebird seems to pale in comparison. Desiring to be extraordinary, Lou attempts to learn the various skills of the feathered race. His efforts prove to be flat failures, and the other bird breeds watch on in dismay, but his fellow lovebirds enthusiastically praise him for his efforts. “We love you, Lou!” they squawk at every turn. Still, Lou grows frustrated and decides that being a bird is not for him. After a disastrous last-ditch attempt to transcend his perceived ordinariness, Lou finds himself lonely and discouraged and realizes that being loved is the best gift of all. This entertaining picture book would be a wonderful read-aloud and discussion starter for early grade schoolers. The bright and colorful illustrations sparkle with humor, and many young readers will readily identify with Lou’s identity crisis.

A funny but touching story about learning to accept who you are. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 4, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-45494-188-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sterling Children's Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2021

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