A creative take on problem-solving that will encourage young readers.

I DREAMED ABOUT A HIPPOPOTAMUS IN A LIPSTICK FACTORY

In Braun’s debut children’s book, an 8-year-old girl embraces her uniqueness after she has an imaginative, insightful dream.

Nicoletta feels anxious when her father accepts a promotion requiring the family to move. She has always had trouble fitting in with her classmates, so starting a new school will be challenging. She also frets about leaving her beloved hammock behind, where she often gets lost in her own thoughts. Nicoletta falls asleep in it and dreams about visiting a lipstick factory called Lipstickland. Her guide is Deloris, a makeup-wearing hippopotamus, and the factory is filled with animals and humans working together in harmony. Nicoletta is shocked at this because it goes “against the natural order of things...like the popular kids working with the nerdy kids.” As Deloris shows Nicoletta around, the workers enlist the girl’s opinions on products. She even helps them pick teams for a soccer tournament and joins in the game. Deloris offers words of wisdom, enabling Nicoletta to reframe the changes in her life: “All you have to do is be open to the possibilities, believe in yourself, and remember you are never alone.” When Nicoletta wakes up, she tells her parents about Lipstickland and explains that she had the dream for a reason: she “needed to work some things out.” Later, at her new school, Nicoletta’s teacher, Mrs. Morris, is kind and caring like Deloris, and Nicoletta makes friends. Braun’s message here is clear: differences should be celebrated, and everyone has their own personality and purpose. The notion of animals coming together is a nice metaphor and Vazan’s (Laughing IS Conceivable, 2015) full-color and monochrome illustrations playfully complement the narrative. Nicoletta is a likable character, and her fears will be relevant for many children. However, at times, the young girls self-talk seems overly precocious; for example, she says, “Fear of judgement was fading, and so were my feelings of loneliness. My imagination, which had been my companion and my friend, was now focused in a new direction.” The main text of the book uses Dyslexie typeface, specifically created to be easier for dyslexics to read.

A creative take on problem-solving that will encourage young readers.

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4602-9267-9

Page Count: 60

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: April 6, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A DOG NAMED SAM

A book that will make young dog-owners smile in recognition and confirm dogless readers' worst suspicions about the mayhem caused by pets, even winsome ones. Sam, who bears passing resemblance to an affable golden retriever, is praised for fetching the family newspaper, and goes on to fetch every other newspaper on the block. In the next story, only the children love Sam's swimming; he is yelled at by lifeguards and fishermen alike when he splashes through every watering hole he can find. Finally, there is woe to the entire family when Sam is bored and lonely for one long night. Boland has an essential message, captured in both both story and illustrations of this Easy-to-Read: Kids and dogs belong together, especially when it's a fun-loving canine like Sam. An appealing tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8037-1530-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1996

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more