LET'S GO NUTS!

SEEDS WE EAT

After tributes to veggies (Rah, Rah, Radishes, 2011) and fruit (Go, Go, Grapes, 2012), Sayre delivers another peppery blend of upbeat, celebratory rhymes and photos taken at local grocery shops and farmers markets.

This time, the spotlight’s on seeds. After the initial, two-couplet overture (“Bravo, black beans! / Rah, rah, rice! / Seeds are meals. / They’re snacks. They spice!”), Sayre leads readers successively though arrays of legumes, nuts, grains and spices. The photographs show nuts and beans in decorative containers or juxtaposed in bins. Navy beans mingle near red ones, with a handful of runner beans scattered on top; almonds are shown in the shell and out, blanched, slivered and whole. The focus on real-life produce stands and markets yields many images of packaged and hand-labeled items: The grains section begins with a photo of bagged breads, pastas, and wheat and rye berries. While some of the pictured items won’t be readily identifiable by children, the combination of short, pithy verse and artfully displayed food provides an excellent aid for classroom or family learning. To that end, Sayre (a veteran of school visits) provides an afterword that answers questions about the science and nutrition of seeds, nut allergies, cultural connections through food, and more. Another cheery, useful overview of real food from a first-rate science writer. (Informational picture book. 4-8)

 

Pub Date: April 28, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4424-6728-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2013

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Thank you, Gerald and Piggie. We’ll miss you

THE THANK YOU BOOK

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Piggie is “one lucky pig,” and she’s determined to make sure she thanks “everyone who is important to” her in this, the final Elephant & Piggie book.

Gerald is sure his friend will forget someone—“someone important”—but Piggie assures him, “It will be a THANK-O-RAMA!” Piggie proceeds to thank the Squirrels for their great ideas, Snake for playing ball, and the Pigeon “for never giving up.” Piggie thanks and thanks: “I am a thanking machine!” She thanks character after character, even the Flies (“Any time, dude!”), as Gerald continues to interject that she’ll forget “someone VERY important.” Finally Piggie runs out of thanks, and by this time Gerald is steamed. “I goofed,” Piggie says in itty-bitty type, before lavishing thanks on Gerald. But that’s not whom Piggie forgot to thank! A classic Willems tantrum later, Gerald reveals the “someone important”: “Our reader.” Of course. “We could not be ‘us’ without you,” says Gerald, earnestly looking out from the page, and Piggie chimes in, “You are the best!” As Elephant & Piggie books go, this isn’t one of the strongest, but it is a validating valediction to fans of the two characters, who have won Willems two Geisel Medals and five Honors. Yes, Gerald and Piggie have ushered countless readers into literacy, but as they rightly note, reading is a collaborative act.

Thank you, Gerald and Piggie. We’ll miss you . (Early reader. 5-8)

Pub Date: May 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4231-7828-6

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2016

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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

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