A family outing to the beach nearly ends in calamity when the youngest member decides to bring along his treasured bears. As Percy’s family busily prepares for their trip, he discovers stuffed animals he cannot endure leaving behind. Percy’s family explains that if they take his toys, they will have to leave something behind. Naylor’s (Simply Alice, p. 496, etc.) tale gently exposes a child’s comically skewered pragmatism; after all, Percy reasons, what can possibly be more important than one’s favorite toys? Thus, while Percy collects his bears, he carefully disposes with what he deems the less important items for the trip. When his family discovers a quartet of bears neatly tucked into the cooler instead of food, it seems that everyone will have to go home early. However, Percy uses his unique brand of logic to solve this dilemma. Soon, four stuffed bears are perched next to the boardwalk with a sign reading “Please DO feed the bears,” eventually affording the family a bountiful lunch. Escrivá’s (How Can You Dance?, 2001, etc.) acrylic paintings adroitly tie into the tale, allowing readers in on the secret to Percy’s packing, building the anticipation for the story’s humorous climax. The density of the bold colors combined with sharply defined lines of the drawings produce vividly arresting illustrations. Naylor’s wry tale reveals to readers both the shenanigans and solutions that are the result of ingenious thinking. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: June 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-689-82561-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2002

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A snow-covered countryside may look barren of life, but Stewart’s quiet text takes readers under the blanket of white to “a hidden world” where ladybugs sleep en masse and voles tunnel from tree to tree, where a wood frog freezes safely solid and bluegills and waterboatmen share frigid waters, where a turtle lies buried in mud and “even on the coldest winter days, red-spotted newts dodge and dart, whiz and whirl just below the ice.” Bergum’s equally quiet watercolors spread across the pages in panels that offer cross-sections and magnified details to give readers glimpses of the world beneath the snow. Their precision lends a dignity and beauty even to a sleeping centipede and a barbeled carp. Readers will come away with an appreciation for the adaptability and endurance of the animal world. (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-1-56145-493-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2009

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A multilayered, endearing treasure of a day.


Spending a day with Gong Gong doesn’t sound like very much fun to May.

Gong Gong doesn’t speak English, and May doesn’t know Chinese. How can they have a good day together? As they stroll through an urban Chinatown, May’s perpetually sanguine maternal grandfather chats with friends and visits shops. At each stop, Cantonese words fly back and forth, many clearly pointed at May, who understands none of it. It’s equally exasperating trying to communicate with Gong Gong in English, and by the time they join a card game in the park with Gong Gong’s friends, May is tired, hungry, and frustrated. But although it seems like Gong Gong hasn’t been attentive so far, when May’s day finally comes to a head, it is clear that he has. First-person text gives glimpses into May’s lively thoughts as they evolve through the day, and Gong Gong’s unchangingly jolly face reflects what could be mistaken for blithe obliviousness but is actually his way of showing love through sharing the people and places of his life. Through adorable illustrations that exude humor and warmth, this portrait of intergenerational affection is also a tribute to life in Chinatown neighborhoods: Street vendors, a busker playing a Chinese violin, a dim sum restaurant, and more all combine to add a distinctive texture. 

A multilayered, endearing treasure of a day. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-77321-429-0

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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