Next book

LUCY CAN'T SLEEP

Restless, sleepless Lucy decides to climb out of bed and wander through her hushed house.

Meandering rhyme bobs up and down in this nocturnal tale, rocking readers with its subtle irregularity and soft tonality. It drifts as Lucy drifts, around her house, into closets and the fridge, onto the porch, back upstairs and, finally, into bed. Dusky blues, purples and pinks establish a muted nighttime world, one through which Lucy perambulates quite comfortably. Children who fear separation and isolation at bedtime might find eye-opening solace in Lucy’s soothing ramble. Quiet solitary play (dressing-up, snacking, listening to far-off music outside, petting the family pup) suddenly seems exactly the way to find peace and slumber. Being alone in cozy darkness ain’t so bad! Lucy’s pleasantly blank, flat face, her wide-set dot eyes and simple u-shaped smile encourage children to identify with her, easily swapping their own experiences, their own faces, with hers. Schwartz’s deceptively simple paintings and line-work deliver enough domestic details (a coiled hose, a stray doll, dirty laundry, scattered bath toys) and slightly skewed perspectives to keep readers engaged, looking into every corner of the family home (just like the nomadic Lucy).

A bedtime book with sweetly anarchic undertones (why stay in bed?), in which verse and artwork lull and soothe to soporific effect. (Picture book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-59643-543-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Neal Porter/Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: June 12, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

Next book

ROSA LOVES CARS

From the All About Rosa series

An effervescent celebration of play in the early years.

As with Spanyol’s stellar Clive books, Rosa’s favorite activities buck gender stereotypes.

The toddler races toy cars, jumps monster trucks, and builds a car out of a cardboard box with her buddies in what looks like a day care or preschool setting. Spanyol’s childlike lines, soft palette, and chunky figures are as cheerful as ever. The text is mostly straightforward, simple narration peppered with exclamations from Rosa and her chums: “Rosa and Marcel play in the sandpit. ‘Dig-a-dig, dig-a-dig, scoop!’ sings Rosa.” Rosa has brown skin and black, curly hair, and she wears bright yellow eyeglasses. Her friends include Samira, who uses a wheelchair and is likely of South Asian descent; Mustafa, who appears black; Biba, who has light-brown skin and straight, black hair; and Sarah and Marcel, who both present white. Three other equally charming titles accompany this offering. In Rosa and Her Dinosaurs, the heroine dons a purple dress and plays with a collection of toy dinosaurs. Rosa and her buds (all wearing helmets) roll through the pages of Rosa Rides Her Scooter. And in Rosa Plays Ball, Rosa pushes a cart with various kinds of balls to toss about with her friends outside.

An effervescent celebration of play in the early years. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-78628-125-8

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Child's Play

Review Posted Online: Dec. 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

Next book

GOODNIGHT, NUMBERS

The joys of counting combine with pretty art and homage to Goodnight Moon.

This bedtime book offers simple rhymes, celebrates the numbers one through 10, and encourages the counting of objects.

Each double-page spread shows a different toddler-and-caregiver pair, with careful attention to different skin tones, hair types, genders, and eye shapes. The pastel palette and soft, rounded contours of people and things add to the sleepy litany of the poems, beginning with “Goodnight, one fork. / Goodnight, one spoon. / Goodnight, one bowl. / I’ll see you soon.” With each number comes a different part in a toddler’s evening routine, including dinner, putting away toys, bathtime, and a bedtime story. The white backgrounds of the pages help to emphasize the bold representations of the numbers in both written and numerical forms. Each spread gives multiple opportunities to practice counting to its particular number; for example, the page for “four” includes four bottles of shampoo and four inlaid dots on a stool—beyond the four objects mentioned in the accompanying rhyme. Each home’s décor, and the array and types of toys and accoutrements within, shows a decidedly upscale, Western milieu. This seems compatible with the patronizing author’s note to adults, which accuses “the media” of indoctrinating children with fear of math “in our country.” Regardless, this sweet treatment of numbers and counting may be good prophylaxis against math phobia.

The joys of counting combine with pretty art and homage to Goodnight Moon. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-101-93378-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

Close Quickview