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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PIRATES DON'T TAKE BATHS

Echoes of Runaway Bunny color this exchange between a bath-averse piglet and his patient mother. Using a strategy that would probably be a nonstarter in real life, the mother deflects her stubborn offspring’s string of bath-free occupational conceits with appeals to reason: “Pirates NEVER EVER take baths!” “Pirates don’t get seasick either. But you do.” “Yeesh. I’m an astronaut, okay?” “Well, it is hard to bathe in zero gravity. It’s hard to poop and pee in zero gravity too!” And so on, until Mom’s enticing promise of treasure in the deep sea persuades her little Treasure Hunter to take a dive. Chunky figures surrounded by lots of bright white space in Segal’s minimally detailed watercolors keep the visuals as simple as the plotline. The language isn’t quite as basic, though, and as it rendered entirely in dialogue—Mother Pig’s lines are italicized—adult readers will have to work hard at their vocal characterizations for it to make any sense. Moreover, younger audiences (any audiences, come to that) may wonder what the piggy’s watery closing “EUREKA!!!” is all about too. Not particularly persuasive, but this might coax a few young porkers to get their trotters into the tub. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25425-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2011

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Between its autumn and field-trip themes and the fact that not many books start countdowns from 20, this may find its way to...

PUMPKIN COUNTDOWN

A class visits the pumpkin patch, giving readers a chance to count down from 20.

At the farm, Farmer Mixenmatch gives them the tour, which includes a petting zoo, an educational area, a corn maze and a tractor ride to the pumpkin patch. Holub’s text cleverly though not always successfully rhymes each child’s name within the line: “ ‘Eighteen kids get on our bus,’ says Russ. / ‘But someone’s late,’ says Kate. / ‘Wait for me!’ calls Kiri.” Pumpkins at the tops of pages contain the numerals that match the text, allowing readers to pair them with the orange-colored, spelled-out numbers. Some of the objects proffered to count are a bit of a stretch—“Guess sixteen things we’ll see,” count 14 cars that arrived at the farm before the bus—but Smith’s artwork keeps things easy to count, except for a challenging page that asks readers to search for 17 orange items (answers are at the bottom, upside down). Strangely, Holub includes one page with nothing to count—a sign marks “15 Pumpkin Street.” Charming, multicultural round-faced characters and lots of detail encourage readers to go back through the book scouring pages for the 16 things the kids guessed they might see. Endpapers featuring a smattering of pumpkin facts round out the text.

Between its autumn and field-trip themes and the fact that not many books start countdowns from 20, this may find its way to many library shelves. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: July 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8075-6660-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: May 16, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2012

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