A book featuring a charismatic pooch and a likable owner that's sure to attract young readers.

SASHA AND HIS RED LEASH

THE SECRET DIARY OF A LUCKY PUP

Author Lapid and illustrator Pasek launch a new rhyming picture-book series starring a playful puppy who wants to roam free.

Sasha, a small white canine, knows he’s “a very lucky pup,” but he hates his awful red leash, which he’s hidden and buried in the past. Sasha discusses it with his brown-skinned young owner, “Big Boss Bob,” who explains that the leash keeps Sasha safe. They visualize various hypothetical situations, and Lapid allows readers to weigh in on whether each one would require a leash. Finally, Sasha realizes the tether’s importance even if he still wishes for total freedom. Lapid and Pasek have already written two series together—the Snowman Paul books and the Yara’s Rainforest books—and Sasha has the same playfulness and verve as their previous protagonists. Pasek’s painterly illustrations mingle cartoonish and realistic features, always showing Sasha behaving like a real-life dog. Lapid’s simple, rhyming text offers few words on most pages, making the book very approachable for beginners, who will get the most out of the images of safe and unsafe situations. The book may also give parents a way to introduce discussions about why some human rules are required to keep children safe.

A book featuring a charismatic pooch and a likable owner that's sure to attract young readers.

Pub Date: May 15, 2020

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 25

Publisher: Self

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A terrific choice for the preschool crowd.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

TIME FOR SCHOOL, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Little Blue Truck learns that he can be as important as the big yellow school bus.

Little Blue Truck is driving along the country road early one morning when he and driver friend Toad come across a big, yellow, shiny school bus. The school bus is friendly, and so are her animal passengers, but when Little Blue Truck wishes aloud he could do an important job like hers, the school bus says only a bus of her size and features can do this job. Little Blue Truck continues along, a bit envious, and finds Piggy crying by the side of the road, having missed the bus. Little Blue tells Piggy to climb in and takes a creative path to the school—one the bus couldn’t navigate—and with an adventurous spirit, gets Piggy there right on time. The simple, rhyming text opens the story with a sweet, fresh, old-fashioned tone and continues with effortlessly rhythmical lines throughout. Little Blue is a brave, helpful, and hopeful character young readers will root for. Adults will feel a rush of nostalgia and delight in sharing this story with children as the animated vehicles and animals in innocent, colorful countryside scenes evoke wholesome character traits and values of growth, grit, and self-acceptance. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A terrific choice for the preschool crowd. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 29, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-358-41224-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

Yes, the Pigeon has to go to school, and so do readers, and this book will surely ease the way.

THE PIGEON HAS TO GO TO SCHOOL!

From the Pigeon series

All the typical worries and excuses kids have about school are filtered through Willems’ hysterical, bus-loving Pigeon.

Told mostly in speech balloons, the bird’s monologue will have kids (and their caregivers) in stitches at Pigeon’s excuses. From already knowing everything (except whatever question readers choose to provide in response to “Go ahead—ask me a question. / Any question!”) to fearing learning too much (“My head might pop off”), Pigeon’s imagination has run wild. Readers familiar with Pigeon will recognize the muted, matte backgrounds that show off the bird’s shenanigans so well. As in previous outings, Willems varies the size of the pigeon on the page to help communicate emotion, the bird teeny small on the double-page spread that illustrates the confession that “I’m… / scared.” And Pigeon’s eight-box rant about all the perils of school (“The unknown stresses me out, dude”) is marvelously followed by the realization (complete with lightbulb thought bubble) that school is the place for students to practice, with experts, all those skills they don’t yet have. But it is the ending that is so Willems, so Pigeon, and so perfect. Pigeon’s last question is “Well, HOW am I supposed to get there, anyway!?!” Readers will readily guess both the answer and Pigeon’s reaction.

Yes, the Pigeon has to go to school, and so do readers, and this book will surely ease the way. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-368-04645-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more