There are so many shape-recognition books that are so much better; this one should remain tangled.

TANGLED

A STORY ABOUT SHAPES

Two- and three-dimensional shapes must problem-solve when several get stuck while at the playground.

“One day a little circle, just as happy as could be / got caught inside the jungle gym, and couldn’t wiggle free.” Several friends try to help her, either ineffectually or, worse, getting stuck themselves. As crowds gather, a line arrives, and she devises the perfect plan. With the help of a prism and a sphere, she sets up a lever and pops the shapes free. Miranda’s rhyming verses sometimes stumble. Comstock’s shape characters, with noodlelike arms and legs, mostly sport similar expressions of dismay or happiness. His depictions of the jungle gym fail to make it clear how the shapes are trapped; they look as though they could just slip out. Only two shapes are specifically gendered female in the text. Both are pink (at least one other pink shape is explicitly male); one has a bow atop her head, the other, who wears glasses, has eyelashes. The mix of 2- and 3-D shapes makes the audience tough to pin down. Some shapes will be mystifying to children still sorting them out: The word “ellipse” is used instead of “oval,” and in a scene where crowds gather, the text refers to “points” joining the throng; readers may not know what they are till they reach the ending shape gallery, which shows points as a group of dots.

There are so many shape-recognition books that are so much better; this one should remain tangled. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: June 25, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4814-9721-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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

A comical, fresh look at crayons and color

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT

Duncan wants to draw, but instead of crayons, he finds a stack of letters listing the crayons’ demands in this humorous tale.

Red is overworked, laboring even on holidays. Gray is exhausted from coloring expansive spaces (elephants, rhinos and whales). Black wants to be considered a color-in color, and Peach? He’s naked without his wrapper! This anthropomorphized lot amicably requests workplace changes in hand-lettered writing, explaining their work stoppage to a surprised Duncan. Some are tired, others underutilized, while a few want official titles. With a little creativity and a lot of color, Duncan saves the day. Jeffers delivers energetic and playful illustrations, done in pencil, paint and crayon. The drawings are loose and lively, and with few lines, he makes his characters effectively emote. Clever spreads, such as Duncan’s “white cat in the snow” perfectly capture the crayons’ conundrum, and photographic representations of both the letters and coloring pages offer another layer of texture, lending to the tale’s overall believability.

A comical, fresh look at crayons and color . (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-399-25537-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

more