ONCE UPON A TIME THIS MORNING

Each of these once-upon-a-time tales takes one of two tacks: mild moralizing or wish fulfillment. The ones that moralize feel smug and pat: A greedy little boy learns to share when another boy barks back; a toy is found, after much searching, in the toy chest where it should be; a bath-wary girl jumps in when a toy whale smiles at her. The wish-fulfilling tales have a measure of endearment: An early riser persuades his father to listen to birdsong with him; a father who thinks he doesn't have time to play finds some; a boy who forgot to give his mother a kiss good- bye in the morning delivers one that night upon her return. Each story is amiably concluded in two clipped pages, with Stevenson's illustrations to capture toddler imaginations. Although even two-year-olds will understand that events in the world are not always resolved so smoothly, the mood is upbeat. Simplistic and benign. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-688-14706-2

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 1997

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

THE THREE BILLY GOATS GRUFF

In this entry in the Growing Tree series, the publisher copyrights the text, while Carpenter provides illustrations for the story; here, the three billy goats named Gruff play on a nasty troll’s greed to get where the grass is greenest. Logic has never been the long suit of this tale: Instead of letting the two smaller billy goats be terrorized by the mean and ugly troll, children wonder, why doesn’t the biggest billy goat step in sooner? It’s still a good introduction to comparatives, and the repetitiveness of the story invites participation. The artwork matches the story: The characters are suitably menacing, quivering, or stalwart, and the perspectives allow readers to be right there in the thick of the action. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: June 30, 1998

ISBN: 0-694-01033-2

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HarperFestival

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 1998

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The joys of counting combine with pretty art and homage to Goodnight Moon.

GOODNIGHT, NUMBERS

This bedtime book offers simple rhymes, celebrates the numbers one through 10, and encourages the counting of objects.

Each double-page spread shows a different toddler-and-caregiver pair, with careful attention to different skin tones, hair types, genders, and eye shapes. The pastel palette and soft, rounded contours of people and things add to the sleepy litany of the poems, beginning with “Goodnight, one fork. / Goodnight, one spoon. / Goodnight, one bowl. / I’ll see you soon.” With each number comes a different part in a toddler’s evening routine, including dinner, putting away toys, bathtime, and a bedtime story. The white backgrounds of the pages help to emphasize the bold representations of the numbers in both written and numerical forms. Each spread gives multiple opportunities to practice counting to its particular number; for example, the page for “four” includes four bottles of shampoo and four inlaid dots on a stool—beyond the four objects mentioned in the accompanying rhyme. Each home’s décor, and the array and types of toys and accoutrements within, shows a decidedly upscale, Western milieu. This seems compatible with the patronizing author’s note to adults, which accuses “the media” of indoctrinating children with fear of math “in our country.” Regardless, this sweet treatment of numbers and counting may be good prophylaxis against math phobia.

The joys of counting combine with pretty art and homage to Goodnight Moon. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-101-93378-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more