Operation Photobomb (Tara Luebbe & Becky Cattie)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Operation Photobomb, written by Tara Luebbe and Becky Cattie, and illustrated by Matthew Rivera, a clever tale of consideration.

Whenever a tour group comes through Chameleon and Monkey’s neck of the jungle, it means one thing: new toys! Monkey is especially taken with his find, a Polaroid camera (lifted from an unsuspecting tourist’s backpack). He quickly develops his skill and passion for photography, taking pictures of all his jungle friends – the colorful birds, the powerful big cats, the Capybaras’ family portrait, baby Sloth’s newborn portrait, Grandpa Macaw’s 75th birthday party, etc. But Chameleon, feeling left out, has discovered a new hobby of his own – photobombing! Jumping in and stealing focus from everyone’s photo last minute is a great amusement to him, but makes his friends increasingly angry. How can the other animals show Chameleon how inconsiderate his actions are?

What a clever little tale! Using a classic “taste of one’s own medicine” story of considering others’ feelings, the authors deftly weave in both a modern theme and some adorable animal antics. The localized wildlife of a specific habitat – a South American rainforest – provides an additional educational opportunity. The story is just right in tone and pacing, and the ending is a delightful twist that brings things full circle. Rivera’s charming illustrations are colorful and energetic, and little ones will have fun searching for Chameleon throughout the photos, as well as his silent tree frog pal throughout the story itself. JJ and I both had a blast with this one, and we highly recommend it. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by a representative of the author in exchange for an honest review.)

Potato Pants! (Laurie Keller)

Hello friends! Our book today is Potato Pants! by Laurie Keller, a delightfully silly story about the importance of considering others.

Why is this potato doing the Robot (PO-bot)? He’s excited! There’s a special fashion event down at Lance Vance’s Fancy Pants store – a Potato Pants sale! He joins the throngs of other shopping tubers, spying a pair in the window that is just his style. But when the store opens, he spots something else inside: a larger eggplant trying on pants, the very same one that rushed by him and knocked him down yesterday. Why is the eggplant there?! This is Potato Pants Day (Eggplant Pants Day was yesterday)! Hemming and hawing as the potato pants fly off the shelves, Potato waits for the eggplant to leave – fuming, wondering, checking for potato pants availability elsewhere – but the eggplant remains. At last, the last pair of pants is on the rack – will Potato risk his safety to procure the pants of his dreams?

Wildly fun. The text, layout, art, and story are all wildly energetic with a sense of absurdist humor that made it so much fun to read. The story ends with a nice little message on being considerate of others, and knowing how to apologize and forgive. The mixed-media art is exciting and bold, with lots of fun details and humor. The length was great, and JJ loved the pace and tone, and especially the wordplay. Overall, a ridiculously fun read that we highly recommend. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Hiding Heidi (Fiona Woodcock)

Hello, everyone! Today’s book is Hiding Heidi by Fiona Woodcock, a sweet story about friendship and fairness.

Heidi is, simply put, the best hide-and-seek player ever. She barely even has to try; everywhere she goes, she seems to effortlessly blend in. Her friends are good at the game, but Heidi is GREAT, and always wins. Because of this, she always has her friends play hide-and-seek so she can show off her skills. Unfortunately, this tends to leave her out of group at times; while they’re busy hunting for Heidi, they get to spend more time together. Can Heidi learn to be a better friend and share the spotlight… or rather, step out into it from hiding?

This was a very cute book with a great message: Heidi eventually realizes that it’s wonderful to celebrate what makes you special, but good friends celebrate their friends’ special gifts as well. The conclusion that Heidi shouldn’t dim her shine but instead let her friends shine with her is perfect for teaching children consideration without asking them to limit themselves. The illustrations are very cute, and Heidi’s camouflaging skills make it fun to spot her on each page. The length is fine, and JJ enjoyed this one! Great story about being a supportive friend, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

The Story Of Fish And Snail (Deborah Freedman)

Hello, friends! Our book today is The Story Of Fish And Snail by Deborah Freedman, a lovely tale about friendship and compromise between two unusual friends.

Fish and Snail live together in their book, and are the best of friends. Every day, Fish goes out to explore the other books, but Snail prefers to wait where it’s safe and quiet until Fish comes home with stories to share. One day, Fish comes to tell Snail that he’s found an amazing book with a vast blue ocean, and pirates! He implores Snail to come with him to see. But Snail doesn’t want to play pirates (they are scary), he wants to pretend to be something safe like kittens instead. Fish snaps at Snail in frustration, and the two get into an argument that ends with Fish storming off to another book. But now Snail misses his dear friend. What is a timid Snail to do?

This is such a wonderfully unique book! The concept of Fish and Snail being characters in a library book that can explore other books is so neat, at gives the story a magical subtext that ignites the imagination. But the core story, that sometimes even best friends will fight, is perfect too. The best part was that the resolution showed compromise between the friends: Snail gathers his courage to follow Fish into the other book because he wants to make his friend happy; and Fish, touched, decides that they can play “kitten-pirate” so Snail feels more comfortable. It’s a great lesson in being compassionate and considerate of one’s friends, and it’s executed beautifully. The art is sweet, soothing, and fits the fantastical elements of the story just right. The length is perfect for baby Bookworm, and JJ loved this one! Totally Baby Bookworm approved!