… The cover’s bold, red background emphasizes a brown bull’s surly expression—he’s seeing red emotionally as surely as readers see it behind him. But then, the prologue illustration shows him looking downright cowed as a large, gray bull shouts, “GO AWAY!” Clearly pained, the brown bull roundly rejects a group of animals that invites him to play. Wordplay makes his cruel remarks pack a wallop: “CHICKEN!” he shouts at a hen; “SLOW POKE!” at a turtle; “PIG!” at, well, a pig. A bee and skunk feel his ire, too. Then, a goat evoking the bravery of the Billy Goats Gruff facing down the troll retorts, “BULLY!” “Bully?” the brown bull asks in a picture employing an effective direct gaze at readers. On the next spread, the bull is depicted multiple times, sent into a physical tailspin representing his emotional upheaval. He apologizes on the antepenultimate page, and then, over just two spreads, he invites the animals to play, and they accept … (from Kirkus Reviews)
Three polar bear friends find themselves adrift on the big blue ocean when their home of ice cracks apart. They float away, surviving a stormy sea as their piece of ice gets smaller and smaller and they become desperate for help. They stop at three different islands and plead to be allowed to land. At the first island, inhabited by cows, they are told that they are ‘too bearish’. At the second island, a solitary panda tells them there is no space, and on the third, walled island, they are ignored by the giraffes who have made it their home. Finally, as their piece of ice is about to melt, they come across a fourth island, where they can land and make themselves at home. When a boatload of monkeys sails by asking for help, the polar bears give them a big “WELCOME!”.