WHEN THE WIND BLEW

Children who know the nursery rhymes will enjoy seeing them in a new context, and children who do not can enjoy the...

A follow-up to If the Shoe Fits (illustrated by Karla Firehammer, 2001) finds the old woman—not so old but cheery and buxom—and her many children solving a few dilemmas for other nursery rhyme denizens.

The footwear that is their home is quite a fancy shoe, with a lamp affixed to the end of its curled tip. The opening spread sets up the entire story with its panoramic view of shoe, tree with “cradle and all,” fields, town, castle and hill with well atop. The wind rocks the cradle so wildly that the wee tot is tumbled out onto the shoe, to be gently caught by the children, who try right away to put baby and cradle back. The tree from which it fell is now festooned with mittens, and the children soon find the desolate, mittenless kittens. As they go along, they find Mary’s lamb, Bo Peep’s crook, Jack’s candlestick, and Jack and Jill’s pail (among other items) and eventually restore them to their rightful places. It is all told in verse rhymed with grace—verve, even—and illustrated with soft, ballooning figures. The many children of the shoe have round heads and button features, and each is clad in the garb of various and sundry nations and ethnicities. Perspectives swoop and change with the rhythm. There is a moral about “examin[ing] the cost / Of constantly grasping for things that are lost,” but it doesn’t much get in the way.

Children who know the nursery rhymes will enjoy seeing them in a new context, and children who do not can enjoy the rollicking action anyway. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8050-8688-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Christy Ottaviano/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Jan. 14, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2014

THERE'S NO ONE I LOVE LIKE YOU

Langreuter and Dahle’s gentle story fails to cover any new ground, but readers will relate to Brayden’s experience and...

In this German import, a bunny is convinced that living with his friends will be easier and more enjoyable than obeying the rules at home.

Late one morning, Brayden is reluctant to get out of bed, pick up his toys, wash his whiskers or play with his sisters. He grumbles to his mother, “I wish I could go live with my friends.…I wouldn’t have to do chores.” When his mother asks him if this is really what he wants to do, he picks up his backpack and leaves. All of Brayden’s friends’ families warmly welcome him, but no one scratches his ears “like Mommy does.” No place is exactly right: Missy Mouse’s house is too messy, with toys everywhere; Benny Badger’s family smells “a little funny” because they never wash up; Fipsi Squirrel’s home is too high up in the tree to climb. Cousin Pepi’s house seems perfect until Brayden gets “a curious lump in his bunny throat,…an odd tugging in his bunny tummy [and] a strange jabbing in his bunny heart.” Readers will immediately understand what is happening—he is missing his home and his mommy. Soon, Brayden returns, and Mommy Bunny lovingly welcomes him with a perfect scratch on his ears.

Langreuter and Dahle’s gentle story fails to cover any new ground, but readers will relate to Brayden’s experience and perhaps develop a better appreciation for the comforts and rules of home. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7358-4126-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: NorthSouth

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2012

WHERE ARE YOUR SHOES, MR. BROWN?

Pedestrian.

Mr. Brown can’t help with farm chores because his shoes are missing—a common occurrence in his household and likely in many readers’ as well.

Children will be delighted that the titular Mr. Brown is in fact a child. After Mr. Brown looks in his closet and sorts through his other family members’ shoes with no luck, his father and his siblings help him search the farm. Eventually—after colorful pages that enable readers to spot footwear hiding—the family gives up on their hunt, and Mr. Brown asks to be carried around for the chores. He rides on his father’s shoulders as Papa gets his work done, as seen on a double-page spread of vignettes. The resolution is more of a lesson for the adult readers than for children, a saccharine moment where father and son express their joy that the missing shoes gave them the opportunity for togetherness—with advice for other parents to appreciate those fleeting moments themselves. Though the art is bright and cheerful, taking advantage of the setting, it occasionally is misaligned with the text (for example, the text states that Mr. Brown is wearing his favorite green shirt while the illustration is of a shirt with wide stripes of white and teal blue, which could confuse readers at the point where they’re trying to figure out which family member is Mr. Brown). The family is light-skinned. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Pedestrian. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 14, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-5460-0389-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: WorthyKids/Ideals

Review Posted Online: Nov. 15, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2022

Close Quickview