LITTLE BOY

A gentle look at the minutiae that make up life’s learning moments and the importance they hold as building blocks for the future. “Little boy, so much depends on . . . your starship pajamas, / that story about llamas, / the way you don’t worry, / the way you won’t hurry, and . . . / your big cardboard box.” Helping with the cooking, taking care of the family dog, saying goodbye to grandparents, jumping puddles, inspecting bugs, making a goal and lots of imaginative play also appear as elements that make up this small boy’s life. Throughout, Reynolds’s ink-and-watercolor illustrations wonderfully portray the delightful mix of mischievousness, joy, pride and imagination that make up little boys. While a cozy lap reading between parent and child is sure to elicit similar lists of things that “so much depends on” in their own lives, the text will be most appreciated by sentimental parents. This is a beautiful reminder to all that these days will pass all too quickly and must be savored—the perfect gift for harried new parents. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-1-4169-5872-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2008

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ONE BEAN

PLB 0-8027-8649-9 The simple life cycle of a bean provides a practical and understandable example of scientific observation for budding young naturalists. Starting with a hand shown holding a single bean, readers journey full circle from soaking, planting, and watering, to flowering, harvesting, and eating. Uncluttered three-dimensional artwork complements the short, simple text; each stage of the bean’s transformation from seed to vegetable is shown in large scale, drawn so realistically that the texture of the skin seems to show the strain as the bean gets ready to put down roots. This is an ideal book for classrooms where students can’t resist the temptation to keep “checking” on their bean plants. (Picture book/nonfiction. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-8027-8648-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Walker

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1998

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TOO MANY TOYS

Spencer owns a multitude of toys: old toys and new ones, big toys and small ones, bath toys, wooden toys, board games, computer games, miniature cars and trucks, musical instruments, stuffed animals and action figures. They are everywhere, including on the floor where his parents can trip on them. One day, Spencer’s mom has had enough and announces that some of the toys have to go. Shaken, Spencer cries, “BUT I LOVE THEM ALL!” There’s no stopping Spencer’s mom, however, who says she will help and proves to be a worthy adversary when Spencer attempts to make deals. Snappy dialogue and an absolutely on-target understanding of the psyches of both mother and child make the negotiation scene absolutely priceless. Will they both make it through the harrowing task before them? The elaborate, child-friendly pictures perfectly capture Spencer’s world, zeroing in on the chaos with glee and then pulling back to demonstrate graphically the traumas suffered by both adults and child in the process. Shannon’s sardonic wit will strike a chord with parents and children alike. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-439-49029-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2008

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