Although the book’s plot is, perhaps, as predictable as the evening train, it’s entirely pleasurable.

READ REVIEW

A LITTLE HOUSE IN A BIG PLACE

A wistful little girl imagines a world beyond the gardens and grain fields of home.

A country girl waits patiently at her window each day to wave to the engineer of the train that passes nearby, traveling east in the morning and journeying west at night, wondering about this person she will never meet. Like her, does he dream of a life different from the one he has? The gift of the engineer’s hat gives the precocious child the courage to explore her safe domain and imagine a different life. Surrounded by loving parents, a baby brother, some quiet cows, and a snoozing cat, she looks beyond the borders of a bucolic world to ponder where else she could go, what else she could be. Acheson chooses rhythmic language that carries the story forward with a nearly audible clickety-clack. Soft folk-style art done in gouache, oil pastels, and colored pencils lends a homey country atmosphere to the changing seasons of a very quiet rural life. Both the little girl’s perspective and the pages’ focus change from up close to far away, from what’s real to what’s imagined, always with her family nearby. A final two-page spread provides a happy ending that, like the arrival of a train, we know is coming. All the characters present white.

Although the book’s plot is, perhaps, as predictable as the evening train, it’s entirely pleasurable. (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-77138-912-9

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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OTHER GOOSE

RE-NURSERIED AND RE-RHYMED CHILDREN'S CLASSICS

“Little boy blue / come blow your tuba. / The sheep are in Venice, / and the cow’s in Aruba.” Pairing frenetic and garishly colored art to familiar rhymes in “more modern, more fresh, and well…more Goosian” versions, Seibold stakes out Stinky Cheese Man territory to introduce “Jack and Jill / and a pickle named Bill,” the Old Woman Who Lived in a Sneaker (“She had a great big stereo speaker”), Peter Pumpkin Pickle Pepper and about two dozen more “re-nurseried” figures. Against patterned or spray-painted backgrounds, an entire page of umbrella-carrying raindrops float down, a bunch of mice run up (“the clock struck one; / the rest had fun”), cats fiddle for Old King Coal and others, Jack B. Nimble makes a lifelong career out of demonstrating his one trick and a closing rendition of the counting rhyme “One, Two, I Lost My Shoe” is transformed into a clever reprise as many of the characters return to take final bows. Sparkles on the cover; chuckles (despite some lame rhyming) throughout. (Fractured nursery rhymes. 7-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-8118-6882-2

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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The combination of haiku, attractive illustrations, and interesting information makes this a keeper.

MORNING, SUNSHINE!

This picture book combines poetry with facts about nature.

Using the arrival of morning as its focus and theme, this nonfiction book provides information about animal, insect, and bird life along with some general natural science. From birds’ singing in the morning through moths’ finding quiet spots to rest as the sun rises to the daily routines of rabbits, foxes, and other animals, readers will discover fascinating facts about Earth’s creatures. Combining entertainment and information, this book not only features the lives of animals, but it also explains why the sky changes color throughout the day and how the Earth’s rotation creates the phenomena of day and night. Each double-page spread highlights a different creature or natural phenomenon; there’s a haiku on verso and on recto, a moderately sized paragraph with both commonly known and more unusual facts. Highlighted words stand out as obvious vocabulary builders; readers can learn their meanings in the appended glossary. The illustrations are large-scale and vivid, with the palette lightening over the course of the book as morning takes hold. Illustrations are graphically simple, with cheerful cartoon animals contributing to the upbeat mood. An added bonus is a page at the back encouraging readers to write their own nature haiku.

The combination of haiku, attractive illustrations, and interesting information makes this a keeper. (Informational picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 24, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-62317-385-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: North Atlantic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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