Just right.

READ REVIEW

WHEN YOU ARE CAMPING

So many things to do in the great outdoors!

Even when it rains, Hazel and her sister, Tilly, enjoy camping with Mom and Dad. They can eat marshmallows for breakfast, splash in the puddles and run through the wet grass. Tilly encounters a green frog that apparently has the same idea. They can even get really muddy without getting in trouble. And Hazel does, wearing her red boots and a raincoat decorated with big poppies (Tilly's is dotted with huge daisies). Tilly watches a caterpillar for a long time, while Hazel chases white moths and sneaks up on a gray rabbit. Dad blows up two yellow tubes so the girls can go swimming in the river. (They can bathe with the fishes!) After dinner, the family takes a walk in the woods, where they spot a very still deer, which might be listening for them. After the sun goes down, there are a million fireflies to see. Before bedtime, Dad makes popcorn and Mom tells a story by the campfire. Dad lights the lantern in Tilly and Hazel's tent, and crickets sing them to sleep. "Hazel loves camping. Tilly loves camping." Lee's childlike watercolors are in sweet harmony with her text, which is both evocative and simple enough for early readers, without a superfluous word.

Just right. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-61067-064-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2012

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Pair this with Leo Timmers’ Who Is Driving? (2007) for twice the guessing fun.

CLOTHESLINE CLUES TO JOBS PEOPLE DO

From the Clothesline Clues series

Heling and Hembrook’s clever conceit challenges children to analyze a small town’s clotheslines to guess the job each of their owners does. 

Close-up on the clothesline: “Uniform and cap, / an invite for you. / Big bag of letters. / What job does she do?” A turn of the page reveals a macro view of the home, van and the woman doing her job, “She is a mail carrier.” Indeed, she can be spotted throughout the book delivering invitations to all the rest of the characters, who gather at the end for a “Launch Party.” The verses’ rhymes are spot-on, though the rhythm falters a couple of times. The authors nicely mix up the gender stereotypes often associated with several of these occupations, making the carpenter, firefighter and astronaut women. But while Davies keeps uniforms and props pretty neutral (he even avoids U.S. mail symbols), he keeps to the stereotypes that allow young readers to easily identify occupations—the farmer chews on a stalk of wheat; the beret-wearing artist sports a curly mustache. A subdued palette and plain white backgrounds keep kids’ focus on the clothing clues. Still, there are plenty of details to absorb—the cat with arched back that anticipates a spray of water, the firefighter who “lights” the rocket.

Pair this with Leo Timmers’ Who Is Driving? (2007) for twice the guessing fun. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-58089-251-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 16, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2012

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THE GRUFFALO

The action of this rhymed and humorous tale centers upon a mouse who "took a stroll/through the deep dark wood./A fox saw the mouse/and the mouse looked good." The mouse escapes being eaten by telling the fox that he is on his way to meet his friend the gruffalo (a monster of his imagination), whose favorite food is roasted fox. The fox beats a hasty retreat. Similar escapes are in store for an owl and a snake; both hightail it when they learn the particulars: tusks, claws, terrible jaws, eyes orange, tongue black, purple prickles on its back. When the gruffalo suddenly materializes out of the mouse's head and into the forest, the mouse has to think quick, declaring himself inedible as the "scariest creature in the deep dark wood," and inviting the gruffalo to follow him to witness the effect he has on the other creatures. When the gruffalo hears that the mouse's favorite food is gruffalo crumble, he runs away. It's a fairly innocuous tale, with twists that aren't sharp enough and treachery that has no punch. Scheffler's funny scenes prevent the suspense from culminating; all his creatures, predator and prey, are downright lovable. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8037-2386-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1999

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