Books by Bridget Strevens-Marzo

MINI RACER by Kristy Dempsey
ANIMALS
Released: Dec. 1, 2010

"Start your engines! Time to race, / round the corners, take your place." So begins this fast-paced rhyming book featuring a diverse animal menagerie in a humorous variety of unique, coordinating vehicles revving to cross the finish line. Both preschoolers and adults will find much to explore in the bright cartoon-like illustrations as the track weaves past town and "Over, under, in, and through." Strevens-Marzo successfully shows the circuitous route through the use of varying, at times almost Cubist perspectives. Each creature's emotions during the race come across clearly, including frustration at crashing, panicked urgency during a pit stop and the mix of disappointment and elation at the end with the surprise winner. Most of Dempsey's rapid text helps spur readers to keep the pages turning. Only on occasion does an odd word choice (careen, accelerate) seem an obstacle to easy scansion in an otherwise winning title for preschoolers. Full of zooming action and fender-bender drama, it has definite appeal for youngsters. Pair it with Brian Floca's Racecar Alphabet (2003) for a zipping-good time. (Picture book. 3-5)Read full book review >
HOW DO YOU MAKE A BABY SMILE? by Philemon Sturges
ANIMALS
Released: June 1, 2007

"How do you make a baby smile? Grin like Papa Crocodile." The animal kingdom comes to the rescue of a baby's doting older sister in this simple, rhyming bedtime story that offers numerous tips on how to amuse fussy youngsters of all species. Each oversized, color-drenched double-page spread features an animal parent's loving attempt to keep baby happy. Mama Elephant wiggles an ear to make her not-very-wee one smile, Daddy Deer shakes his horns for his spotted fawn and Papa Giraffe twists his neck to delight his long-lashed cutie pie. In the end, the baby's human sister tickles her brother under his chin, and when he yawns, tucks him into bed with his menagerie, cleverly composed of stuffed versions of the nine animals previously pictured. The friendly artwork, all affectionate animal eyes and big animal smiles, is a baby-pleasing combination of rich, saturated color, bold black lines and artful compositions. A cheerful, if not groundbreaking, offering for the very youngest baboons. (Picture book. 1-3)Read full book review >
KISS KISS! by Margaret Wild
ANIMALS
Released: Jan. 1, 2004

Post-toddlers with a tendency to rush off without attending to basic necessities may benefit from this simply told episode. Only after seeing other youngsters—an elephant, a baby rhino, a lion cub, a zebralet, and a young chimp—bussing their parents does Baby Hippo realize that he neglected to kiss his mother before lumbering off to play. Beginning and ending at a river so deeply green that Mama Hippo can pull off a brief game of hide-and-seek just by submerging, Strevens-Marzo places an array of smiling, familiar African animals into brightly colored natural settings. Baby Hippo rushes back to Mama to rectify his mistake, and is last seen blissfully bumping noses with her. Rare is the lapsitter who won't want to do likewise after sharing this. (Picture book. 3-5)Read full book review >