An animal fable—with beautiful watercolor images—about following your dreams when others tell you to quit that never quite...

HAVE YOU SEEN MY EGG?

A resolute rooster decides to adopt an egg in this illustrated barnyard tale.

Red the rooster wakes up one morning from a repeated dream: he’s sure he’s meant to have an egg. The hens consider him ridiculous: “When will you give up this crazy idea?” Roosters, they tell him, “don’t have eggs!” Dejected, Red walks away, but he talks himself into a quest to find his egg. First, he looks in the garden. No egg there; the valiant Rabbit tries to give him a tomato instead. Frog looks in the pond, but only discovers a pebble. Cat, dressed like a fairy princess complete with a beribboned wand, helps Red survey the barn. When they spy a ball of yarn, Owl gets involved, but merely repeats the wisdom of the hens: roosters don’t have eggs. Still, Red is so determined to succeed that he walks out into a storm. There, in a stream in a ditch, he sees an egg floating with the current. Even though he can’t swim, he fearlessly rescues the egg, bringing it home. The play against gender expectations, in which Red, a male, is devoted to locating and caring for his own egg, is charming, and a nice inspiration for all young readers drawn to nurturing, even if they’re told otherwise. But Fairchild’s (Rose and Her Amazing Nose, 2015) plot hangs together loosely, with the egg appearing suddenly and for no reason. Young critical thinkers would be wise to wonder what is in the egg that Red has saved, and to notice that he misses his morning responsibilities to look after it. Many children, however, will just be charmed by debut illustrator Shultz-Jones’ delightfully designed farm animals, including the Owl in dinosaur footie pajamas.

An animal fable—with beautiful watercolor images—about following your dreams when others tell you to quit that never quite delves into the consequences.

Pub Date: Feb. 13, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5136-1965-1

Page Count: -

Publisher: 4Kidz Publishing

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2017

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A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

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BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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ABIYOYO RETURNS

The seemingly ageless Seeger brings back his renowned giant for another go in a tuneful tale that, like the art, is a bit sketchy, but chockful of worthy messages. Faced with yearly floods and droughts since they’ve cut down all their trees, the townsfolk decide to build a dam—but the project is stymied by a boulder that is too huge to move. Call on Abiyoyo, suggests the granddaughter of the man with the magic wand, then just “Zoop Zoop” him away again. But the rock that Abiyoyo obligingly flings aside smashes the wand. How to avoid Abiyoyo’s destruction now? Sing the monster to sleep, then make it a peaceful, tree-planting member of the community, of course. Seeger sums it up in a postscript: “every community must learn to manage its giants.” Hays, who illustrated the original (1986), creates colorful, if unfinished-looking, scenes featuring a notably multicultural human cast and a towering Cubist fantasy of a giant. The song, based on a Xhosa lullaby, still has that hard-to-resist sing-along potential, and the themes of waging peace, collective action, and the benefits of sound ecological practices are presented in ways that children will both appreciate and enjoy. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-83271-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2001

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