Sure to give recent Henry & Mudge grads a happy buzz.

ANT AND HONEY BEE

A PAIR OF FRIENDS IN WINTER

Winter’s arrival leaves sleepy Honey Bee in no mood to entertain her still-antsy friend.

Having quickly run through all the possibilities for solitary activities, Ant ignores her bigger buddy’s “bee-mail” brushoff and heads out into the “rainy and complain-y” weather to pay a call. Grumpy reception notwithstanding (“Honey Bee sure had her stinger out today”), Ant’s relentless persistence ultimately pays off in a cooperatively assembled “peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich”—actually a bowl of milk with some chips in it—enhanced, “Stone Soup” style, with raisins, maple syrup, goldfish crackers, gummy worms, squeeze cheese, ketchup and even stored-away honey. “It’s very antsome,” admits Honey Bee. And the towering result makes a perfect final snack before cuddling down on a shared couch for a long winter’s nap. McDonald’s three-chapter tale offers an entertaining mix of wordplay and amusing back-and-forth conversation—not to mention delicious kitchen antics and, from Karas, cartoon illustrations rich in both visual gags (“Napping House” reads the sign outside Old Man Spider’s home) and small but clear cues to the mutual regard lurking under the (four-limbed, but never mind) insect friends’ moods.

Sure to give recent Henry & Mudge grads a happy buzz. (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7636-5712-3

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2013

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Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably...

LOST AND FOUND

A lad finds a penguin on his doorstep and resolutely sets out to return it in this briefly told import. 

Eventually, he ends up rowing it all the way back to Antarctica, braving waves and storms, filling in the time by telling it stories. But then, feeling lonely after he drops his silent charge off, he belatedly realizes that it was probably lonely too, and turns back to find it. Seeing Jeffers’s small, distant figures in wide, simply brushed land- and sea-scapes, young viewers will probably cotton to the penguin’s feelings before the boy himself does—but all’s well that ends well, and the reunited companions are last seen adrift together in the wide blue sea. 

Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably with this—slightly—less offbeat friendship tale. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-399-24503-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

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The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless.

THE WORLD NEEDS MORE PURPLE PEOPLE

A monohued tally of positive character traits.

Purple is a “magic color,” affirm the authors (both actors, though Hart’s name recognition is nowhere near the level of Bell’s), and “purple people” are the sort who ask questions, laugh wholeheartedly, work hard, freely voice feelings and opinions, help those who might “lose” their own voices in the face of unkindness, and, in sum, can “JUST BE (the real) YOU.” Unlike the obsessive protagonist of Victoria Kann’s Pinkalicious franchise, being a purple person has “nothing to do with what you look like”—a point that Wiseman underscores with scenes of exuberantly posed cartoon figures (including versions of the authors) in casual North American attire but sporting a wide range of ages, skin hues, and body types. A crowded playground at the close (no social distancing here) displays all this wholesome behavior in action. Plenty of purple highlights, plus a plethora of broad smiles and wide-open mouths, crank up the visual energy—and if the earnest overall tone doesn’t snag the attention of young audiences, a grossly literal view of the young narrator and a grandparent “snot-out-our-nose laughing” should do the trick. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.4-by-20.6-inch double-page spreads viewed at 22.2% of actual size.)

The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12196-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

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