A delight—like Zip itself, the art and storyline are clean and simple but also loaded with warmth and personality.

ZIP'S NEW BUTTON

From the Zip the Robot series

Zip, the World’s Greatest Robot, returns, even better than before, with an amazing feature so new even Zip doesn’t know what it does!

Zip, the lovable fire hydrant–shaped robot with an enormous grin and rabbit ear antennae, returns with a brand new, bright-red button on its midsection that’s just begging to be pressed.. When Zip’s friend Cat asks him what it does, Zip indulges a bit of presumptuous fantasizing about the luster this modification will bring to its robotic career: “It makes me even BETTER!” Anticipating instant fame, Zip explains he’ll need to wear sunglasses “to hide from my many eager fans.” Returning to the question of functionality, Cat asks again, “What happens if you PRESS the button?” Zip admits, “I do not know.” This allows for three fantasy scenarios involving space travel, time travel (with a dinosaur!), and invisibility before Zip finally breaks the suspense and presses the button. Handily, the button actually activates “<sleep mode> in 10 seconds.” That, of course, makes this an ideal final read at bedtime, concluding with a gentle press of the buttons in the midsections of the Zip fans at home.

A delight—like Zip itself, the art and storyline are clean and simple but also loaded with warmth and personality. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-80036-009-9

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Tiny Seed

Review Posted Online: June 2, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2021

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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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As gentle and unassuming as Oliver, this story thoroughly charms.

OLIVER'S TREE

It’s no fun for anyone when someone is left out!

Baby elephant Oliver has two very good friends: Lulu, an owlet, and Charlie, a bunny. Playing outside is something they love to do, but the happy trio runs into trouble while trying to climb trees, because Oliver just can’t manage due to his bulk. Warm, appealing watercolors defined with pen and ink and containing just the right amount of detail show the three friends as they patiently search for a tree that is perfect for all of them. Simple text describes their trial and error, as they find trees that are too small, too weak or too tall. “It’s hopeless!” wails Oliver. “Elephants just don’t belong in trees!” When Oliver, exhausted by their efforts, succumbs to sleep, Lulu and Charlie hatch a plan to solve the problem by using their own unique talents. Will they succeed and provide Oliver with a happy surprise? No doubt! Suffused with warmth and gentle humor, this deceptively simple story demonstrates the power of friendship, the importance of working together and problem-solving, while simultaneously introducing basic concepts (high/low, tall/short) in a pleasing, organic way. Young children will root for the three friends, enjoy the mild suspense and delight in the very satisfying ending.

As gentle and unassuming as Oliver, this story thoroughly charms. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: March 20, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-399-25700-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 11, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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