For Arbor Day and every day.

PICTURE A TREE

Master of Plasticine Reid returns with a celebration of trees and the people who love them.

“There is more than one way to picture a tree.” So begins Reid’s sparsely written, lushly illustrated paean to trees. Written in the second person, the narrator allows readers to imagine trees in many different ways: from branches “drawing” in the sky to a tunnel of trees or an ocean of trees and anything in between. Though the gentle words will encourage readers to slow down and think about what they love about trees, it’s the art that’s the star here. The Plasticine is expressive, detailed and gestural, with emotions showing on each face and careful craft in even the tiniest leaf and twig. The background of each spread has been smoothed and textured, colored and filled with birds, leaves and airplanes. Readers will marvel at the amazing details she includes on each human and animal form—earrings, straw hats, melting ice cream—even eye-rolling teenage boys! The story arc takes readers from late spring to winter and through time. One spectacular double-page spread shows a modern barefooted child in a tree, but the reflection is an old-fashioned reader in socks wearing a rucksack. The varying perspectives shown make this a special book indeed.

For Arbor Day and every day. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-8075-6526-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

A comical, fresh look at crayons and color

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

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

Did you like this book?

more