DRIP! DROP!

HOW WATER GETS INTO YOUR TAP

Super-simple text and cartoon-like illustrations explain the water cycle in this surprisingly informative, easy-science title for the picture-book set. JoJo, a cocoa-colored moppet, explains the whole thing to her grumpy dog, Willy. The author uses dialogue balloons to show Jojo’s explanations as well as Willy’s somewhat cynical thoughts. The rest of the explanation appears in short sentences in the clouds. The illustrator follows the text, providing visual information while adding a dash of humor: sun heats the water and the water evaporates and travels as water vapor into the sky; the cold air in the sky causes the vapor to fall as tiny water drops. The tiny drops soak into the ground and flow back to streams and rivers and back to the ocean. Jojo and her dog go rowing in a sink in a yellow slicker, play with a hose, visit the firehouse, a ride a hot-air balloon to see the water move from the reservoir to the water-purification plant and finally to the apartment building. One quibble: the text makes it seem as though scientists taste the water before they take out minerals and add chemicals to kill bacteria, which seems unlikely. The illustrator uses simple shapes outlined in black, bold, flat colors, and lively, expressive characters created with an economy of line. The author concludes with simple experiments to try at home. For children too young for Miss Frizzle, this is a good introduction to the water cycle. (Picture book/nonfiction. 4-8)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2000

ISBN: 0-8234-1459-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way.

NOAH CHASES THE WIND

A young boy sees things a little differently than others.

Noah can see patterns in the dust when it sparkles in the sunlight. And if he puts his nose to the ground, he can smell the “green tang of the ants in the grass.” His most favorite thing of all, however, is to read. Noah has endless curiosity about how and why things work. Books open the door to those answers. But there is one question the books do not explain. When the wind comes whistling by, where does it go? Noah decides to find out. In a chase that has a slight element of danger—wind, after all, is unpredictable—Noah runs down streets, across bridges, near a highway, until the wind lifts him off his feet. Cowman’s gusty wisps show each stream of air turning a different jewel tone, swirling all around. The ribbons gently bring Noah home, setting him down under the same thinking tree where he began. Did it really happen? Worthington’s sensitive exploration leaves readers with their own set of questions and perhaps gratitude for all types of perspective. An author’s note mentions children on the autism spectrum but widens to include all who feel a little different.

An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60554-356-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Redleaf Lane

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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A validating and breathtaking next chapter of a Mother Goose favorite.

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AFTER THE FALL (HOW HUMPTY DUMPTY GOT BACK UP AGAIN)

Humpty Dumpty, classically portrayed as an egg, recounts what happened after he fell off the wall in Santat’s latest.

An avid ornithophile, Humpty had loved being atop a high wall to be close to the birds, but after his fall and reassembly by the king’s men, high places—even his lofted bed—become intolerable. As he puts it, “There were some parts that couldn’t be healed with bandages and glue.” Although fear bars Humpty from many of his passions, it is the birds he misses the most, and he painstakingly builds (after several papercut-punctuated attempts) a beautiful paper plane to fly among them. But when the plane lands on the very wall Humpty has so doggedly been avoiding, he faces the choice of continuing to follow his fear or to break free of it, which he does, going from cracked egg to powerful flight in a sequence of stunning spreads. Santat applies his considerable talent for intertwining visual and textual, whimsy and gravity to his consideration of trauma and the oft-overlooked importance of self-determined recovery. While this newest addition to Santat’s successes will inevitably (and deservedly) be lauded, younger readers may not notice the de-emphasis of an equally important part of recovery: that it is not compulsory—it is OK not to be OK.

A validating and breathtaking next chapter of a Mother Goose favorite. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62672-682-6

Page Count: 45

Publisher: Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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