PUG & PIG AND FRIENDS

From the Pug & Pig series

Now that Pug and Pig are fast friends, it’s time to meet some of their other buddies.

In the yard of their large Victorian house, dog and pig explore and run in circles with their friends Robin and Squirrel (with the latter’s prominent stripe, Chipmunk might be a better name, though their tail is fluffy). Cat just watches these shenanigans, waiting for an opportunity to engage in her own fun: surprising Pug. Cat and Pig find this activity wildly amusing, but the other three “do not like surprises at all.” When a thunderstorm suddenly strikes, it’s every friend for themselves. Squirrel and Robin go to their tree nests, Pug and Pig run to their (dog)“house” (which looks like a small version of their Victorian “home”), and Cat, frightened by lightning, gets stuck in a tree. There she remains until clever Pug lures her down with her favorite pastime, which this time amuses all five friends. Not much happens in this outing, and there’s little to no character growth, making this closer in feel to the duo’s first meeting (Pug Meets Pig, 2016) than to their shining Halloween moment (Pug & Pig Trick-or-Treat, 2017). The simply drawn cartoon scenes with few details and blocks of color keep the focus on the expressive faces and body language of the friends. Cat’s adorned with a collar and flower atop her head, Pig sports a blue shirt with a yellow ruffled collar, and Pug has a bow tie. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Unsatisfying. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 3, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5344-6300-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 2, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2021

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A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together.

HEY, DUCK!

A clueless duckling tries to make a new friend.

He is confused by this peculiar-looking duck, who has a long tail, doesn’t waddle and likes to be alone. No matter how explicitly the creature denies he is a duck and announces that he is a cat, the duckling refuses to acknowledge the facts.  When this creature expresses complete lack of interest in playing puddle stomp, the little ducking goes off and plays on his own. But the cat is not without remorse for rejecting an offered friendship. Of course it all ends happily, with the two new friends enjoying each other’s company. Bramsen employs brief sentences and the simplest of rhymes to tell this slight tale. The two heroes are meticulously drawn with endearing, expressive faces and body language, and their feathers and fur appear textured and touchable. Even the detailed tree bark and grass seem three-dimensional. There are single- and double-page spreads, panels surrounded by white space and circular and oval frames, all in a variety of eye-pleasing juxtapositions. While the initial appeal is solidly visual, young readers will get the gentle message that friendship is not something to take for granted but is to be embraced with open arms—or paws and webbed feet.

A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-375-86990-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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Uplifting and inspiring of further research.

SEÑORITA MARIPOSA

A bilingual love poem of admiration and respect for the millions of monarch butterflies that journey south to Mexico every year.

From a chrysalis on the title page, Señorita Mariposa invites readers to follow the monarch butterfly as it embarks on a journey spanning thousands of miles, “Over mountains capped with snow… / To the deserts down below.” In the same manner, the monarch butterfly exiting the chrysalis at the end of the book then invites readers to flip back to the beginning and restart the journey. Almada Rivero’s warm and friendly illustrations showcase the various people and animals the monarch encounters in its 3,000-mile journey, including a couple of brown-skinned children who welcome Señorita Mariposa to Mexico as the text reads, “Can’t believe how far you’ve come.” Gundersheimer’s recounting of the lepidoptera’s journey is told in a bilingual poem, English set in a serif type and Spanish set in sans-serif. Like the butterfly traveling south and north, the languages switch prominence, displaying in the larger font the principal—and rhyming—language in each spread. Although at times distracting, this technique is a valiant attempt to give equal importance to each language. Backmatter includes facts on the round trip the butterflies undertake, the “super generation” that makes the trek south, and a call to action to protect the monarchs as they slowly lose their habitats.

Uplifting and inspiring of further research. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-4070-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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