Subversive and clever, this book challenges readers to change habits of thought.

ONE OF THESE IS NOT LIKE THE OTHERS

Saltzberg upends traditional spot-the-difference design.

A carefully chosen set of four objects is offered—most similar but not quite the same and sometimes vastly different. Three cows and one elephant? The titular phrase comes in handy. “One of these is not like the others.” But the page turn reveals all four clasping hooves and trunk and celebrating: “And that’s just fine with us.” Three dogs and one cat? “One of these is not like the others.” The cat’s nervous mien prompts misdirection to assumptions of stereotypical cat-and-dog relationships. “But we can still be friends.” Saltzberg goes on to compare more surprisingly visually similar items, such as three cowboy hats and a fish rising from a puddle, mouth agape, to mimic the outline of the headwear. The fish is then wearing all the hats in the following spread: “Because you can never have too many hats.” Placed on a blank white canvas, the sets are simple and uncluttered. Young readers will jump at the chance to point out the differences. But those differences are what are celebrated! It’s impossible to not hum the Sesame Street song of similar wording, but instead of not belonging, the different objects are accepted and embraced. “Some of us are a little different. // And that’s the way we like it!”

Subversive and clever, this book challenges readers to change habits of thought. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4560-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Neal Porter/Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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A winning tale about finding new friends.

FOUND

Bear finds a wonderful toy.

Bear clearly loves the toy bunny that he has found sitting up against a tree in the forest, but he wants to help it return to its home. With a wagon full of fliers and the bunny secure in Bear’s backpack, he festoons the trees with posters and checks out a bulletin board filled with lost and found objects (some of which will bring a chuckle to adult readers). Alas, he returns home still worried about bunny. The following day, they happily play together and ride Bear’s tricycle. Into the cozy little picture steps Moose, who immediately recognizes his bunny, named Floppy. Bear has a tear in his eye as he watches Moose and Floppy hug. But Moose, wearing a tie, is clearly grown and knows that it is time to share and that Bear will take very good care of his Floppy. Yoon’s story is sweet without being sentimental. She uses digitized artwork in saturated colors to create a lovely little world for her animals. They are outlined in strong black lines and stand out against the yellows, blues, greens and oranges of the background. She also uses space to great effect, allowing readers to feel the emotional tug of the story.

A winning tale about finding new friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8027-3559-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2014

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