Lighthearted and lots of fun.

PENGUIN FLIES HOME

From the Flight School series

The rotund, ambitious hero of Flight School (2014) returns home to Antarctica to share the magic of flying above the earth with his penguin friends.

When Teacher and Flamingo realize that Penguin seems homesick, they plan together to fly the little flightless bird the long distance to his icy home. There, Penguin tries to convince the other young penguins of the marvels of flying. They are unconvinced—and take joy in a plunge and some underwater soaring. In the end, Penguin realizes that his particular passion for flying makes him different but that being different is just fine. Judge’s animated style invests Penguin, his classmates, and his penguin friends with endearing personalities. Penguin is attired in goggles and the flight suit that helps his more-accomplished flying friends to bear him aloft. Made of fishing lines with attendant lures bouncing from the ends, the apparatus gives him a jaunty look. Aerial scenes from Penguin’s viewpoint make his happiness at seeing the world from the sky persuasive, and the affection shown him by his flight school companions as well as by his fellow penguins is affirming. Endpapers offer yearbook-style portraits from Penguin’s flight school and vignettes from his scrapbook of his trip to Antarctica.

Lighthearted and lots of fun. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Jan. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5344-1441-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

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Instills a sense of well-being in youngsters while encouraging them to explore the natural world.

YOU ARE HOME WITH ME

This reassuring picture book exemplifies how parents throughout the animal kingdom make homes for their offspring.

The narrative is written from the point of view of a parent talking to their child: “If you were a beaver, I would gnaw on trees with my teeth to build a cozy lodge for us to sleep in during the day.” Text appears in big, easy-to-read type, with the name of the creature in boldface. Additional facts about the animal appear in a smaller font, such as: “Beavers have transparent eyelids to help them see under water.” The gathering of land, air, and water animals includes a raven, a flying squirrel, and a sea lion. “Home” might be a nest, a den, or a burrow. One example, of a blue whale who has homes in the north and south (ocean is implied), will help children stretch the concept into feeling at home in the larger world. Illustrations of the habitats have an inviting luminosity. Mature and baby animals are realistically depicted, although facial features appear to have been somewhat softened, perhaps to appeal to young readers. The book ends with the comforting scene of a human parent and child silhouetted in the welcoming lights of the house they approach: “Wherever you may be, you will always have a home with me.”

Instills a sense of well-being in youngsters while encouraging them to explore the natural world. (Informational picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-63217-224-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little Bigfoot/Sasquatch

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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A decent romp with a few drawbacks.

EVEN SUPERHEROES MAKE MISTAKES

Caped crusaders take responsibility.

Everybody makes mistakes, even superheroes. This picture book uses rhyming couplets and playful, cartoon artwork to illustrate a variety of scenarios in which masked avengers mess up. They trip and fall, they catch “the wrong guys,” they even oversleep. Regardless of their missteps, heroes always get back up and try again, and they certainly do their best to set things right. The author’s sermon on personal responsibility is a bit too long, but little readers will enjoy the variety of superheroics on display. The mix of superhero-specific misdeeds (muffing the alignment of a bridge they are building) with totally unrelated ones (singing off-key) feels totally arbitrary and a little unkind, but for children facing difficulties with their own behavior, this picture book that acknowledges that “perfection is rare” and an apology goes far certainly hits the spot. The illustrations are suitably dynamic and colorful, boasting a range of male and female superheroes of various sizes and colors. Two negatives to the art: A preponderance of identified “bandits” appear to be people of color, and all three female heroes are wasp-waisted, and two wear short shorts and midriff-baring tops while the guys are covered head to toe. These trends really, really need to go.

A decent romp with a few drawbacks. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4549-2703-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

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