Readers captivated by the understated silliness of the premise may find themselves imagining what their own neighborhoods...

READ REVIEW

PUMPKIN ISLAND

Geisert, known for his intricate etchings that often feature profusions of pigs, here turns to pumpkins, offering a meditation on the effects of one astonishingly fertile runaway pumpkin on a small Iowa town.

It all begins when a pumpkin is washed away from a farm to a small island in the middle of a river near a bridge. It breaks; its seeds sprout; vines soon stretch from the island to downtown via that bridge. In a sequence of expansive double-page spreads, Geisert depicts the overrunning of Main Street by the pumpkin’s progeny, the orange gourds improbably popping up everywhere. “People did fun things with the pumpkins. Sometimes, even dangerous things.” People throw pumpkins, do acrobatics and dance with them. And of course they build medieval siege weapons. Ultimately, after a gentle pumpkin chaos reigns for several page turns, the townspeople (all seemingly white) carve them into jack-o-lanterns and range them all up and down Main Street, their faces glowing long into the night. Geisert’s spreads offer readers detail upon whimsical detail, including a witch who walks calmly about and much rooftop tomfoolery. The text and art are occasionally out of sync, and, truthfully, there isn’t much plot—but there are many pumpkins to count.

Readers captivated by the understated silliness of the premise may find themselves imagining what their own neighborhoods might look like under similar circumstances . (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-59270-265-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Cool and stylish.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

ADA TWIST, SCIENTIST

Her intellectual curiosity is surpassed only by her passion for science. But what to do about her messy experiments?

Ada is speechless until she turns 3. But once she learns how to break out of her crib, there’s no stopping the kinky-haired, brown-skinned girl. “She tore through the house on a fact-finding spree.” When she does start speaking, her favorite words are “why,” “how,” and “when.” Her parents, a fashion-forward black couple who sport a variety of trendy outfits, are dumbfounded, and her older brother can only point at her in astonishment. She amazes her friends with her experiments. Ada examines all the clocks in the house, studies the solar system, and analyzes all the smells she encounters. Fortunately, her parents stop her from putting the cat in the dryer, sending her instead to the Thinking Chair. But while there, she covers the wall with formulae. What can her parents do? Instead of punishing her passion, they decide to try to understand it. “It’s all in the heart of a young scientist.” Though her plot is negligible—Ada’s parents arguably change more than she does—Beaty delightfully advocates for girls in science in her now-trademark crisply rhyming text. Roberts’ illustrations, in watercolor, pen, and ink, manage to be both smart and silly; the page compositions artfully evoke the tumult of Ada’s curiosity, filling white backgrounds with questions and clutter.

Cool and stylish. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2137-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Earnest and silly by turns, it doesn’t quite capture the attention or the imagination, although surely its heart is in the...

ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER

Rhymed couplets convey the story of a girl who likes to build things but is shy about it. Neither the poetry nor Rosie’s projects always work well.

Rosie picks up trash and oddments where she finds them, stashing them in her attic room to work on at night. Once, she made a hat for her favorite zookeeper uncle to keep pythons away, and he laughed so hard that she never made anything publicly again. But when her great-great-aunt Rose comes to visit and reminds Rosie of her own past building airplanes, she expresses her regret that she still has not had the chance to fly. Great-great-aunt Rose is visibly modeled on Rosie the Riveter, the iconic, red-bandanna–wearing poster woman from World War II. Rosie decides to build a flying machine and does so (it’s a heli-o-cheese-copter), but it fails. She’s just about to swear off making stuff forever when Aunt Rose congratulates her on her failure; now she can go on to try again. Rosie wears her hair swooped over one eye (just like great-great-aunt Rose), and other figures have exaggerated hairdos, tiny feet and elongated or greatly rounded bodies. The detritus of Rosie’s collections is fascinating, from broken dolls and stuffed animals to nails, tools, pencils, old lamps and possibly an erector set. And cheddar-cheese spray.

Earnest and silly by turns, it doesn’t quite capture the attention or the imagination, although surely its heart is in the right place. (historical note) (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0845-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more