A buoyant welcome to the season

HOCUS POCUS, IT'S FALL!

Using the same pattern and format as their Abracadabra, It’s Spring! (2016), O’Brien and Gal return to celebrate autumn.

“Summer days begin to cool. / Alakazam! // It’s time for school.” Two children, a brown child with fabulous, kinky hair and a white child with red pigtails, carry inner tubes up from the dock and wave to a younger white child sitting on a swing under a tree with leaves turning to red; when the gatefold’s opened, both are lined up to board the school bus along with other kids, including a brown child in a wheelchair. Milkweed pods dry and burst; Canada geese begin their migration; green leaves turn brilliant scarlet and then fall to the ground; squirrels gather nuts while children gather apples and pumpkins; chipmunks curl up in their burrows while children put on their hats and sweaters. The whole joyous celebration culminates in a hayride with the happy group of multiracial children seen on previous pages all piled in. As in the previous book, O’Brien’s rhymes and rhythms stick every landing; also as in the previous book, it stutters sequentially at one point, returning readers to a mostly green landscape after showing several images dominated by rusts and ochers. Gal’s smudgy illustrations, a technology-spanning combination of charcoal on paper and digital collage, glory in the golds, crimsons, and russets of fall, adding contrasting blues and greens for extra pop.

A buoyant welcome to the season . (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 16, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2125-0

Page Count: 24

Publisher: abramsappleseed

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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10 LITTLE HOT DOGS

“One little hot dog sitting on a chair…” quickly multiplies to ten in this unimaginative counting book. Each turn of the page adds another dog to the plush blue chair. The wiener dogs play with toys and each other until the ten are tuckered out and fall asleep. The book then counts down as, one by one, the dogs awaken to continue their rumpus on the floor in front of the chair. While the dogs are cute, the text lacks the rhythm and rhyme that would truly make this come alive. Himmelman’s watercolor-and-pencil illustrations are filled with lively pups, but even their antics may not be enough to hold readers’ attention, as the scenery never changes. While they are easy to count, apart from the thin band of color on their collars the dogs are indistinguishable from each other, making it difficult for children to determine which dog joined, or left, the chair. With the dogs being so small in relation to the page size, this is best saved for one-on-one sharing with true dachshund lovers. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-7614-5797-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Review Posted Online: Oct. 1, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2010

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A sweet and subtle book on sharing.

WHERE IS MY PINK SWEATER?

Rudy’s pink sweater is missing. Readers are invited to follow him as he searches for the sweater.

Rudy is a blue creature with a piggy snout, bunny ears, a thin, tufted tail, and a distraught look on his face. His beloved pink sweater is gone. “It was a bit too small and showed his belly button. But it was his favorite.” Where could it be? In a search that doubles as a countdown from 10 to one, Rudy makes his way through the different rooms of the house—top to bottom, inside and outside. As readers open the wardrobe door, “TEN tumbling cats” provide the first hint as to the sweater’s whereabouts. Following the pink yarn that runs across the pages, readers encounter some surprising creatures in each location—including a crocodile sitting in an outhouse busily knitting—as well as flaps to open and die cuts to peek through. Just as he’s about to give up hope—someone must’ve taken it, but “who would love wearing it as much as he did?”—the answer is revealed: “Trudy! His number ONE sister. The sweater fit her perfectly.” And, as is the nature of stories with a happy ending, Rudy gets a new sweater that fits him, from the knitting crocodile, of course. Plot, interactivity, vocabulary, and counting all contribute in making this an engaging book for the upper edge of the board-book range.

A sweet and subtle book on sharing. (Board book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3679-7

Page Count: 24

Publisher: abramsappleseed

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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