MING LO MOVES THE MOUNTAIN

A noodle story with an Oriental setting, this is something like the old joke about Mohammed going to the mountain. Ming Lo and his wife, however, "move the mountain" by walking backwards away from it. This is after they have suffered from living at the foot of the mountain with no sun, rocks falling through the roof, and rain falling through the holes the rocks make. So Ming Lo's wife demands that he move the mountain and sends him to the wise man for advice. When the wise man's first three suggestions fail (push the mountain with a felled tree, scare it away with noise, please it with cakes), he finally advises the pair to dismantle their house, pick up the pieces, and do a "mountain-moving dance" by putting each foot, in turn, behind the other "for many hours." Once this is accomplished, Ming Lo and his wife rebuild, confident that they have moved the mountain. The pictures mix a recognizable Oriental style and remote serenity with Lobel's cream-puff colors. The anecdote doesn't make you laugh like an earthier, folk-type silly tale would, but there's a nice touch of drollery, in keeping with the straight-faced telling, in Lobel's depiction of the wise man, who becomes more languid with each visit, and more encased in a smokescreen of swirls from his own pipe.

Pub Date: April 12, 1982

ISBN: 0688109950

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1982

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Suitably restful and soothing bedtime fare for youngsters.

OWL ALWAYS LOVE YOU

Forest-dwelling animal dyads hunker down for the night in their respective snuggeries.

Owls roost in a tree, “hoppy” bunnies burrow under flower beds, and field mice nestle in poppy flowers, to name a few. At least one of the featured animals in each spread is a cutout pasted onto the page, and die-cut holes in each page allow these critters to literally nestle as pages are turned, adding some tactile interest for young children. One or two lines of pedantic, rhymed couplets are sprinkled throughout the full-bleed, double-page spreads. In the lovely art, the animals live in dreamy landscapes of rich orange, yellow, purple, and red against deep blue-black backgrounds, successfully balancing a hint of realism with an adorable coziness. On the final pages, a grown blue songbird is enticed back to the nest to meet three yellow, newly hatched chicks. An older sibling? A straying spouse? Readers probably won’t wonder that hard. While the book does not present a realistic nighttime scene, as many of these animals are nocturnal or crepuscular, parents and caregivers will appreciate the title’s soporific qualities.

Suitably restful and soothing bedtime fare for youngsters. (Board book. 6 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68010-640-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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Light, friendly, and not at all preachy—a gentle win for a kinder world.

ABCS OF KINDNESS

Rhyming couplets use the alphabet to simply explain the abstract concept of kindness.

Each letter of the alphabet stands for a word that adds nuance to the notion while line drawings of pink-cheeked stuffed animals—bear, bunny, elephant, mouse, lion, and giraffe—illustrate the behavior. The verses hint at exactly how to act kindly. Some are concrete: “Ii is for inviting everyone to play.” Some suggest attitudes that facilitate kindness. For example, “Bb is for believing things will be okay in the end!” and “Hh is for hope—tomorrow’s another day!” While many might take issue with the simplistic assertion that “Ee is for everyone—we are all the same,” taken as a whole, the book will lead even the youngest toddlers to the message. Organizationally, the book devotes one page each to 11 letters while 14 others share pages. “Zz is sleeping peacefully when your day of kindness is through” sprawls across a final double-page spread, showing all the animals fast asleep. Creating an ABC book is harder than this makes it look. The true test is what is chosen to represent Q, X, Y, and Z. “Quiet times,” “Yes I can,” and the aforementioned “zzz”s ably rise to the challenge. “Xx is for kisses” is a bit of a stretch but understandable. Pastel backgrounds, uncluttered design, and unforced rhymes keep the focus on the concept.

Light, friendly, and not at all preachy—a gentle win for a kinder world. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-593-12307-2

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Rodale Kids

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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