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THE HANDIEST THINGS IN THE WORLD

What are the handiest things in the world? Hands that hold dogs, hands that count, hands that pick up good foods to eat and hands that “[t]ap in rhythm, keep the beat.” But Clements makes the point that our oldest tools also lead to lots of other useful objects: dog leashes, calculators, chopsticks and drumsticks to name a few. In sprightly rhyme, especially after the wordy opening spread, the actions of children using their hands are followed on the opposite pages by their use of tools created for the same purpose. Jaramillo’s photos are a delight; the left-hand pages sometimes focus only on the hands and then the right-side photos pull back to show the child using another object. There is some ethnic diversity, but despite the “world” in the title, this is not a book about different countries. The end pages are composed of small squares arranged checkerboard-style, showing additional photos that relate to the images in the main text; these could be used to play an informal matching game. Pure fun that will spark young imaginations. (Informational picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: May 25, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4169-6166-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: Dec. 28, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2010

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THE CRAYONS GO BACK TO SCHOOL

Nothing new here but a nonetheless congenial matriculant in publishing’s autumnal rite of back-to-school offerings.

The Crayons head back to class in this latest series entry.

Daywalt’s expository text lays out the basics as various Crayons wave goodbye to the beach, choose a first-day outfit, greet old friends, and make new ones. As in previous outings, the perennially droll illustrations and hand-lettered Crayon-speak drive the humor. The ever wrapperless Peach, opining, “What am I going to wear?” surveys three options: top hat and tails, a chef’s toque and apron, and a Santa suit. New friends Chunky Toddler Crayon (who’s missing a bite-sized bit of their blue point) and Husky Toddler Crayon speculate excitedly on their common last name: “I wonder if we’re related!” White Crayon, all but disappearing against the page’s copious white space, sits cross-legged reading a copy of H.G. Wells’ The Invisible Man. And Yellow and Orange, notable for their previous existential argument about the color of the sun, find agreement in science class: Jupiter, clearly, is yellow AND orange. Everybody’s excited about art class—“Even if they make a mess. Actually…ESPECIALLY if they make a mess!” Here, a spread of crayoned doodles of butterflies, hearts, and stars is followed by one with fulsome scribbles. Fans of previous outings will spot cameos from Glow in the Dark and yellow-caped Esteban (the Crayon formerly known as Pea Green). (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Nothing new here but a nonetheless congenial matriculant in publishing’s autumnal rite of back-to-school offerings. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: May 16, 2023

ISBN: 9780593621110

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Feb. 24, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2023

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GUESS AGAIN!

A series of rollicking riddles with unexpected answers. In the first spread, the picture on the left apparently shows a rabbit in silhouette while the short verse on the right provides the clues: “He steals carrots... / His floppy ears are long and funny. / Can you guess who? That’s right! My….” Turn the page for the answer: “Grandpa Ned.” (Ned’s upside-down, with socks half-pulled off to resemble rabbit ears.) Grandpa Ned turns up twice more, as the answer to a riddle that seems to be about a cat and later as the setup answer to another riddle. The book’s four other riddles involve a pirate, snow creatures, a mouse hole and a dark cave. A lifting flap and a gatefold add tactile interest. Rex’s straightforward gouache-and–mixed-media illustrations downplay the mischief of the premise, appropriately lobbing visual softballs at an audience disoriented by the goof on a tried-and-true formula they’ve encountered over and over. In all, it’s a refreshing (albeit slight) spoof for jaded young readers who have aced easy Q&A books; some may find it too cool for the room. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-1-4169-5566-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2009

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