Straddling the line between cute and down-to-earth, this is one gardening book that will strike its readers as blooming...

DAISY'S BIG DIG

Community and cultivation mix and mulch in a sweet, but not cloying, British import.

Young Daisy may get a kick out of conversing with the neighbors on her street, but she seems to be the only one who does. Though everyone from old Mr. Hofmeister to the perpetually baking Mrs. Benjamin is friendly, folks keep to themselves. When Mr. Hofmeister confesses to Daisy that he’s hurt his back and can’t work his garden, the intrepid little girl devises a brilliant solution. Next thing anyone knows, she’s invited the whole neighborhood to a digging party with the added incentive of “hidden treasure.” The party’s a hit, with lonely widows pairing well with overtaxed mothers, a home-schooled genius bonding with a local professor, and even the university students hitting it off with normally grumpy Mr. Hofmeister. Now everyone’s happier and healthier, though it’s up to child readers to determine the secret treasure. Cheery watercolors and collage give the plot a special perk, and adults will dig (pun fully intended) as many tiny details as their children. Though allusions to the “hidden treasure” threaten to border on the insipid, the book deftly avoids the usual perils

Straddling the line between cute and down-to-earth, this is one gardening book that will strike its readers as blooming lovely. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-84780-208-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: Oct. 20, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Aspirational—but not quite ascending to the inspirational.

MY VOICE IS A TRUMPET

Explores different ways one’s voice can be used.

The unidentified narrator begins by chronicling different types of voices: “loud and proud,” “soft and sweet,” “patient and wise,” and more. The Deaf community is included in both text and art, and sign language is alluded to: “There’s a voice that is silent / but STILL CAN BE HEARD / with hands that move / to speak EVERY word.” The vibrant, colorful art presents an array of children of different races and skin tones. Unfortunately, this well-meaning book does not cohere. The art in some spreads does not appear to augment or even connect to the text. For example, the lines “I’LL SAY NO TO HATE / by using this voice / and ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE— / a magical choice” are illustrated with a spread of four children: one playing the trumpet, another singing, one with a drum major’s hat and baton, and the final child skateboarding. Readers may be confused by how these images apply to the text since they have no direct relation to saying no to hate or choosing love. Spreads with children holding protest signs feel disconnected to the present moment with no Black Lives Matter or BLM–related signs depicted. Some text excludes nonbinary children, asserting “we’re SISTERS / and BROTHERS.”

Aspirational—but not quite ascending to the inspirational. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: July 13, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-35218-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Flamingo Books

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more