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

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WHEN THE WIND BLEW

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. 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2014

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A culturally intricate slice of a lupine courier’s life.

¡VAMOS! LET'S GO TO THE MARKET

From the ¡Vamos! series

Little Lobo and his dog, Bernabé, journey through a Mexican mercado delivering diverse goods to a variety of booths.

With the aid of red words splattered throughout the spreads as labels, Raúl the Third gives an introduction to Spanish vocabulary as Little Lobo, an anthropomorphic wolf, leaves his house, fills his cart with objects from his warehouse, and delivers them to the market’s vendors. The journey also serves as a crash course in Mexican culture, as the images are packed with intertextual details such as food, traditional games, and characters, including Cantinflas, Frida Khalo, and Juan Gabriel. Readers acquainted with Raúl the Third’s characters from his Lowriders series with author Cathy Camper will appreciate cameos from familiar characters. As he makes his rounds, Little Lobo also collects different artifacts that people offer in exchange for his deliveries of shoe polish, clothespins, wood, tissue paper, paintbrushes, and a pair of golden laces. Although Raúl the Third departs from the ball-pen illustrations that he is known for, his depiction of creatures and critters peppering the borderland where his stories are set remains in his trademark style. The softer hues in the illustrations (chosen by colorist Bay) keep the busy compositions friendly, and the halftone patterns filling the illustrations create foregrounds and backgrounds reminiscent of Roy Lichtenstein’s pointillism.

A culturally intricate slice of a lupine courier’s life. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-55726-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Versify/HMH

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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RAIN SCHOOL

It takes a village to make a school. In Chad, big brothers and sisters lead the way for younger children on the first day of school. Little Thomas is full of questions. When he and the other children arrive, there are no classrooms and no desks. But the teacher's there, holding a trowel. "We will build our school," she declares. Everyone sets to work, making mud bricks that dry in the sun and a roof out of grass and saplings. Thomas loves his lessons; every day he learns something new. At the end of the school year, the minds of the students "are fat with knowledge." And just in time: The rainy season arrives and makes short work of the schoolhouse. Come September, they'll start all over. Rumford's illustrations make great use of color, dark brown skin and bright shirts, shorts and dresses against golden backgrounds, the hues applied in smudgy layers that infuse each scene with warmth—until the gray rains arrive. It's a nifty social-studies lesson tucked into a warm tale of community. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-547-24307-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 1, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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