Here’s hoping this is not Squeak’s only adventure

SQUEAK THE MOUSE LIKES HIS HOUSE

From the I Like To Read series

This simple early reader explores all the things Squeak likes in his house, the kitchen of a (mostly) unsuspecting human family.

Schories’ visual humor makes this slight story of just 18 words into a satisfying and complete adventure. New readers will gain confidence as Squeak navigates his house and words are repeated using the same sentence pattern introduced in the title. The only change is in the article-adjective-noun phrases that provide details of how the mouse uses familiar objects—toys, shoes, the dog’s water bowl, and snacks—provided by the unsuspecting humans who share his house. Bibliophiles will especially appreciate that “Squeak the Mouse likes the good books at his house.” The proximity of the mouse to two young children and a dog, all oblivious to the mouse’s activities, lends an air of daring and suspense to the mouse’s explorations of their shared home. Interjection of the mouse’s “Squeak” as he scurries about the kitchen and the chaos produced when one of the children (both present white) trips and spills her snack of nuts and raisins add both humor and excitement. Picture-book readers will delight in finding the mouse on each spread. Schories’ gentle humor and quick, clever mouse reminiscent of Arnold Lobel’s classic Mouse Tales (1972) should prove equally enduring and effective as both story and reading lesson.

Here’s hoping this is not Squeak’s only adventure . (Early reader/picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3943-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

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Though Jim may have been grumpy because a chimp’s an ape and not a monkey, readers will enjoy and maybe learn from his...

GRUMPY MONKEY

It’s a wonderful day in the jungle, so why’s Jim Panzee so grumpy?

When Jim woke up, nothing was right: "The sun was too bright, the sky was too blue, and bananas were too sweet." Norman the gorilla asks Jim why he’s so grumpy, and Jim insists he’s not. They meet Marabou, to whom Norman confides that Jim’s grumpy. When Jim denies it again, Marabou points out that Jim’s shoulders are hunched; Jim stands up. When they meet Lemur, Lemur points out Jim’s bunchy eyebrows; Jim unbunches them. When he trips over Snake, Snake points out Jim’s frown…so Jim puts on a grimacelike smile. Everyone has suggestions to brighten his mood: dancing, singing, swinging, swimming…but Jim doesn’t feel like any of that. He gets so fed up, he yells at his animal friends and stomps off…then he feels sad about yelling. He and Norman (who regrets dancing with that porcupine) finally just have a sit and decide it’s a wonderful day to be grumpy—which, of course, makes them both feel a little better. Suzanne Lang’s encouragement to sit with your emotions (thus allowing them to pass) is nearly Buddhist in its take, and it will be great bibliotherapy for the crabby, cranky, and cross. Oscar-nominated animator Max Lang’s cartoony illustrations lighten the mood without making light of Jim’s mood; Jim has comically long arms, and his facial expressions are quite funny.

Though Jim may have been grumpy because a chimp’s an ape and not a monkey, readers will enjoy and maybe learn from his journey. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 15, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-553-53786-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

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A comical, fresh look at crayons and color

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THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT

Duncan wants to draw, but instead of crayons, he finds a stack of letters listing the crayons’ demands in this humorous tale.

Red is overworked, laboring even on holidays. Gray is exhausted from coloring expansive spaces (elephants, rhinos and whales). Black wants to be considered a color-in color, and Peach? He’s naked without his wrapper! This anthropomorphized lot amicably requests workplace changes in hand-lettered writing, explaining their work stoppage to a surprised Duncan. Some are tired, others underutilized, while a few want official titles. With a little creativity and a lot of color, Duncan saves the day. Jeffers delivers energetic and playful illustrations, done in pencil, paint and crayon. The drawings are loose and lively, and with few lines, he makes his characters effectively emote. Clever spreads, such as Duncan’s “white cat in the snow” perfectly capture the crayons’ conundrum, and photographic representations of both the letters and coloring pages offer another layer of texture, lending to the tale’s overall believability.

A comical, fresh look at crayons and color . (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-399-25537-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

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