Engaging illustrations embellish a somewhat odd tale.


Why does Dormouse keep showing up—asleep—in other animals’ homes, and how will the dilemma be solved?

“The days in Green Forest were tranquil and uneventful, sometimes even verging on boring.” From the start, the text’s syntax and vocabulary, together with its charming artwork, invite a cozy read-aloud. Each day of this exceptional week, Dormouse inadvertently frightens a different friend by unexpectedly showing up somewhere in their home. Droll illustrations in a cool palette with russet highlights show diminutive Dormouse in locations such as the bathrobe-garbed Rabbit’s indoor carrot patch, Deer’s right antler, and Tortoise’s glasses case. After these and four other animals forbid Dormouse from continuing the practice—without allowing him to explain himself—they learn from Owl, who “would stay awake at night keeping watch over the forest,” that Dormouse, afraid of sleeping alone, has fled to the home turf of “ferocious” Wolf for company. Realistically, an owl is a greater threat to a dormouse than a wolf, but Wolf as villain adds to the fairy-tale flavor of the narrative. Rabbit’s use of “Guys!” detracts from it, as do erratically placed words in boldface. After rescuing Dormouse, the friends figure out a system that seems to work fine. Finally, Dormouse himself arrives at a new solution—which readers may find anticlimactic or possibly off-putting. Judging by pronouns and clothing, all characters are male except for Owl and Pygmy Shrew.

Engaging illustrations embellish a somewhat odd tale. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 3, 2018

ISBN: 978-84-946926-6-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: nubeOCHO

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2018

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Still, this young boy’s imagination is a powerful force for helping him deal with life, something that should be true for...


Oliver, of first-day-of-school alligator fame, is back, imagining adventures and still struggling to find balance between introversion and extroversion.

“When Oliver found his egg…” on the playground, mint-green backgrounds signifying Oliver’s flight into fancy slowly grow larger until they take up entire spreads; Oliver’s creature, white and dinosaurlike with orange polka dots, grows larger with them. Their adventures include sharing treats, sailing the seas and going into outer space. A classmate’s yell brings him back to reality, where readers see him sitting on top of a rock. Even considering Schmid’s scribbly style, readers can almost see the wheels turning in his head as he ponders the girl and whether or not to give up his solitary play. “But when Oliver found his rock… // Oliver imagined many adventures // with all his friends!” This last is on a double gatefold that opens to show the children enjoying the creature’s slippery curves. A final wordless spread depicts all the children sitting on rocks, expressions gleeful, wondering, waiting, hopeful. The illustrations, done in pastel pencil and digital color, again make masterful use of white space and page turns, although this tale is not nearly as funny or tongue-in-cheek as Oliver and His Alligator (2013), nor is its message as clear and immediately accessible to children.

Still, this young boy’s imagination is a powerful force for helping him deal with life, something that should be true for all children but sadly isn’t. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: July 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-7573-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2014

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Skip this well-meaning but poorly executed celebration.


Children point out the things they love about their fathers.

“Daddy is always kind. He gives us support and shelter when things go wrong.” A child with a skinned knee (and downed ice cream cone) gets a bandage and loving pat from Daddy (no shelter is visible, but the child’s concerned sibling sweetly extends their own cone). Daddy’s a storyteller, a magician, supportive, loyal, silly, patient, and he knows everything. A die-cut hole pierces most pages, positioned so that the increasingly smaller holes to come can be seen through it; what it represents in each scene varies, and it does so with also-variable success. The bland, nonrhyming, inconsistent text does little to attract or keep attention, though the die cuts might (until they fall victim to curious fingers). The text also confusingly mixes first-person singular and plural, sometimes on the same page: “Daddy is like a gardener. He lovingly cares for us and watches us grow. I’m his pride and joy!” Even as the text mixes number the illustrations mix metaphors. This particular gardener daddy is pictured shampooing a child during bathtime. Más’ cartoon illustrations are sweet if murkily interpretive, affection clearly conveyed. Troublingly, though, each father and his child(ren) seem to share the same racial presentation and hair color (sometimes even hairstyle!), shutting out many different family constellations. Más does, however, portray several disabilities: children and adults wearing glasses, a child with a cochlear implant, and another using a wheelchair.

Skip this well-meaning but poorly executed celebration. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 24, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12305-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Rodale Kids

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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