Helen

Grumpy Unicorn by Joey Spiotto
Grumpy Unicorn consists of a frowning unicorn doing various things with virtually the same expression on his face in the entire book. It is an extremely simple concept and remarkably funny. There are one-hundred and eleven pages with four parts listed in an illustrated table of contents. Each page is illustrated with a maximum of 7 words per page but most are wordless. There are almost no other characters.
I offer this much detail to give credence to my assertion that this is a perfect book for kids to transition from picture books to early readers. That is, I believe adults should read this book with kids; but, children will really, really want to learn to read it themselves. There are words like topiary, unicycle, and Piñata but most sentences are two words with a maximum of seven.

Reading a book of this length will give little readers immense confidence. 

Juvenile Fiction Paperback pr4672243

Pickles vs. the Zombies by Angela Misri
I admit this awesome title was irresistible to me, which is almost as bad as judging a book by its cover. However, things only improve – if you can imagine - from the title. Pickles the house cat notices her pet (AKA human), 2 year old Connor, is late getting home from daycare. So are Connor’s parents. Also, normal looking pets are being attacked and eaten by shambling looking pets...
An outside cat, Ginger, has learned that all the non-shambling pets have congregated at the hospital. And so Pickles decides to undertake a quest – outside – to the hospital, to save her pet. Eventually, this quest leads further afield, with many cats, a bossy hamster, a raccoon, horses and an owl, all uniting to confront rats, chipmunks, a religious cult of cats, and, of course, the zombie apocalypse. There are some truly hilarious scenes - Pickles as calmly as possible instructing horses how to kick off zombie heads, in the heat of an attack; hostage negotiations with chipmunks; the hamster ferociously fighting zombies, at every turn, etc. The zombie action is fairly tame as none of the good-guys die or become zombies. Also Pickles falls in love with a female cat, which is a small but lovely detail. This relationship and all of the characters are well developed. This book is all one might hope it would be – from the title – and much, much more.

Recommend it to everyone… except dog people. 

Juvenile Fiction Paperback pr2769332

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