The staccato rhymes suggest themselves for all sorts of exuberant oration, from simple read-alouds to more orchestrated...

RAH, RAH, RADISHES!

A VEGETABLE CHANT

Let’s hear it for the veggies! This cheerful chant pairs pithy couplets with the author’s photographs of farmer’s market beauties.

The staccato rhymes suggest themselves for all sorts of exuberant oration, from simple read-alouds to more orchestrated pageantry, perhaps involving kids as players. Page turns are cleverly used to add further punch to the rhymes: “Lettuce. Lima. Go, green bean! / Cucumber’s cool. Kohlrabi’s queen!” The photographs, as sturdy and delicious as their subjects, occasionally pull off a visual pun: The aforementioned queenly kohlrabies sport crowns of trimmed stalks that indeed lend a regal air. Photos, bordered with thin white lines in offset rectangles, appear against pages of green, gold, eggplant-purple or tomato-red. (Yup, it’s a fruit, but it makes several honorary appearances.) Crisp white type in the serif font “Calvert” adds the right rah-rah touch. The most pleasing aspect about this crunch-fest for parents and caregivers, arguably, is its happy presumption: What kid wouldn’t love to both celebrate and chow down on these fresh and fabulous foods? Indeed, Sayre’s appended a page of facts and suggestions and notes that “No vegetables were harmed or mistreated in the making of this book. Most, however, were later eaten.” (Cauliflower pom-poms, anyone?) Page turns are cleverly used to add further punch to the rhymes: “Lettuce. Lima. Go, green bean! / Cucumber’s cool. Kohlrabi’s queen!” The photographs, as sturdy and delicious as their subjects, occasionally pull off a visual pun: The aforementioned queenly kohlrabies sport crowns of trimmed stalks that indeed lend a regal air. Photos, bordered with thin white lines in offset rectangles, appear against pages of green, gold, eggplant-purple or tomato-red(Yup, it’s a fruit, but it makes several honorary appearances.) Crisp white type in the serif font “Calvert” adds the right rah-rah touch. The most pleasing aspect about this crunch-fest for parents and caregivers, arguably, is its happy presumption: What kid wouldn’t love to both celebrate and chow down on these fresh and fabulous foods? Indeed, Sayre’s appended a page of facts and suggestions and notes that “No vegetables were harmed or mistreated in the making of this book. Most, however, were later eaten.”

Pub Date: June 14, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2141-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2011

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A comical, fresh look at crayons and color

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THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT

Duncan wants to draw, but instead of crayons, he finds a stack of letters listing the crayons’ demands in this humorous tale.

Red is overworked, laboring even on holidays. Gray is exhausted from coloring expansive spaces (elephants, rhinos and whales). Black wants to be considered a color-in color, and Peach? He’s naked without his wrapper! This anthropomorphized lot amicably requests workplace changes in hand-lettered writing, explaining their work stoppage to a surprised Duncan. Some are tired, others underutilized, while a few want official titles. With a little creativity and a lot of color, Duncan saves the day. Jeffers delivers energetic and playful illustrations, done in pencil, paint and crayon. The drawings are loose and lively, and with few lines, he makes his characters effectively emote. Clever spreads, such as Duncan’s “white cat in the snow” perfectly capture the crayons’ conundrum, and photographic representations of both the letters and coloring pages offer another layer of texture, lending to the tale’s overall believability.

A comical, fresh look at crayons and color . (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-399-25537-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

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As ephemeral as a valentine.

LOVE FROM THE CRAYONS

Daywalt and Jeffers’ wandering crayons explore love.

Each double-page spread offers readers a vision of one of the anthropomorphic crayons on the left along with the statement “Love is [color].” The word love is represented by a small heart in the appropriate color. Opposite, childlike crayon drawings explain how that color represents love. So, readers learn, “love is green. / Because love is helpful.” The accompanying crayon drawing depicts two alligators, one holding a recycling bin and the other tossing a plastic cup into it, offering readers two ways of understanding green. Some statements are thought-provoking: “Love is white. / Because sometimes love is hard to see,” reaches beyond the immediate image of a cat’s yellow eyes, pink nose, and black mouth and whiskers, its white face and body indistinguishable from the paper it’s drawn on, to prompt real questions. “Love is brown. / Because sometimes love stinks,” on the other hand, depicted by a brown bear standing next to a brown, squiggly turd, may provoke giggles but is fundamentally a cheap laugh. Some of the color assignments have a distinctly arbitrary feel: Why is purple associated with the imagination and pink with silliness? Fans of The Day the Crayons Quit (2013) hoping for more clever, metaliterary fun will be disappointed by this rather syrupy read.

As ephemeral as a valentine. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-9268-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2021

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