Accessible for all, from the happy shopper to the tool-obsessed.


Dad, daughter, and son head to the hardware store to find tools for home repair.

It’s a bigger house for this growing family of five (plus two cats and a dog), but their new home is in need of some fixing. So it’s off to the hardware store—a charming mom-and-pop shop full of colorful curiosities. There, brother and sister examine walls of hammers and screwdrivers, poke through bins of brads, and learn about levels. Their list complete, they arrive home only to realize an item is missing, and it’s back to the store they go. The artwork, done in a pastel-colored palette, is full of attractive little details, from the patterning on the tool displays to the labels on the window. Captioned spot illustrations depicting the differences among certain tools will delight readers both young and old. Like Taro Gomi, Iwai makes no attempt to light her artwork with shading. Still, objects distinguish themselves as she skillfully applies pattern and color. It’s an appealing environment that, while stylized, feels real as the mother sits on the floor breast-feeding, tools strewn around, reminding her husband of the forgotten item. Dad has white skin and sandy hair, while brother and sister share the dark hair and almond eyes of their mother.

Accessible for all, from the happy shopper to the tool-obsessed. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 22, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8050-8738-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Christy Ottaviano/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2015

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A nursery school approach to a general concept. "A tree is nice"- Why? Because..."We can climb the pirate ship...pick the playhouses out of the leaves. A tree is nice to hang a swing in...Birds build nests in trees... Sticks come off trees...People have picnics there too"...etc. etc. One follows the give and take of a shared succession of reactions to what a tree- or trees- can mean. There is a kind of poetic simplicity that is innate in small children. Marc Simont has made the pictures, half in full color, and they too have a childlike directness (with an underlying sophistication that adults will recognize). Not a book for everyone -but those who like it will like it immensely. The format (6 x 11) makes it a difficult book for shelving, so put it in the "clean hands" section of flat books. Here's your first book for Arbor Day use- a good spring and summer item.

Pub Date: June 15, 1956

ISBN: 978-0-06-443147-7

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Harper

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1956

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A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.


Echoing the meter of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” Ward uses catchy original rhymes to describe the variety of nests birds create.

Each sweet stanza is complemented by a factual, engaging description of the nesting habits of each bird. Some of the notes are intriguing, such as the fact that the hummingbird uses flexible spider web to construct its cup-shaped nest so the nest will stretch as the chicks grow. An especially endearing nesting behavior is that of the emperor penguin, who, with unbelievable patience, incubates the egg between his tummy and his feet for up to 60 days. The author clearly feels a mission to impart her extensive knowledge of birds and bird behavior to the very young, and she’s found an appealing and attractive way to accomplish this. The simple rhymes on the left page of each spread, written from the young bird’s perspective, will appeal to younger children, and the notes on the right-hand page of each spread provide more complex factual information that will help parents answer further questions and satisfy the curiosity of older children. Jenkins’ accomplished collage illustrations of common bird species—woodpecker, hummingbird, cowbird, emperor penguin, eagle, owl, wren—as well as exotics, such as flamingoes and hornbills, are characteristically naturalistic and accurate in detail.

A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.   (author’s note, further resources) (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2116-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2014

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