Offers young readers a cheerful introduction to autumn and models observation, optimism, and resilience in the face of...

AUTUMN IS HERE

From the Tractor Mac series

A routine-loving young calf reluctantly learns to embrace change in this Tractor Mac installment.

Anthropomorphic Tractor Mac and his animal friends at Stony Meadow Farm are observing the seasonal shift from summer to autumn when they realize that one of their number is struggling with the transition: Fergus the calf has never experienced autumn, and he “does not like change.” The animals and Tractor Mac demonstrate familiarity with the why and not just the what of farm operations—as participants in the cyclical patterns dictated by the changing seasons, they gladly articulate to Fergus how the changes benefit the farm. The endpapers feature clearly labeled diagrams of Tractor Mac as well as his new mounted corn picker, which will delight readers interested in vehicles and machinery. Steers’ realistic watercolor-and-ink illustrations establish Stony Meadow and its expressive animal occupants in the foreground in warm shades of yellow, orange, and red while the white farmer couple appears most frequently in the background. When other humans are pictured, as at the Pumpkin Picking Festival, they are overwhelmingly white with just a few exceptions. The book’s lack of ethnic diversity, coupled with historically ambiguous depictions of vehicles and attire, suggests the story is set in the American rural northeast sometime around the middle of the 20th century.

Offers young readers a cheerful introduction to autumn and models observation, optimism, and resilience in the face of unexpected change. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 20, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-374-30920-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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This warm family story is a splendid showcase for the combined talents of Medina, a Pura Belpré award winner, and Dominguez,...

MANGO, ABUELA, AND ME

Abuela is coming to stay with Mia and her parents. But how will they communicate if Mia speaks little Spanish and Abuela, little English? Could it be that a parrot named Mango is the solution?

The measured, evocative text describes how Mia’s español is not good enough to tell Abuela the things a grandmother should know. And Abuela’s English is too poquito to tell Mia all the stories a granddaughter wants to hear. Mia sets out to teach her Abuela English. A red feather Abuela has brought with her to remind her of a wild parrot that roosted in her mango trees back home gives Mia an idea. She and her mother buy a parrot they name Mango. And as Abuela and Mia teach Mango, and each other, to speak both Spanish and English, their “mouths [fill] with things to say.” The accompanying illustrations are charmingly executed in ink, gouache, and marker, “with a sprinkling of digital magic.” They depict a cheery urban neighborhood and a comfortable, small apartment. Readers from multigenerational immigrant families will recognize the all-too-familiar language barrier. They will also cheer for the warm and loving relationship between Abuela and Mia, which is evident in both text and illustrations even as the characters struggle to understand each other. A Spanish-language edition, Mango, Abuela, y yo, gracefully translated by Teresa Mlawer, publishes simultaneously.

This warm family story is a splendid showcase for the combined talents of Medina, a Pura Belpré award winner, and Dominguez, an honoree. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6900-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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Between its autumn and field-trip themes and the fact that not many books start countdowns from 20, this may find its way to...

PUMPKIN COUNTDOWN

A class visits the pumpkin patch, giving readers a chance to count down from 20.

At the farm, Farmer Mixenmatch gives them the tour, which includes a petting zoo, an educational area, a corn maze and a tractor ride to the pumpkin patch. Holub’s text cleverly though not always successfully rhymes each child’s name within the line: “ ‘Eighteen kids get on our bus,’ says Russ. / ‘But someone’s late,’ says Kate. / ‘Wait for me!’ calls Kiri.” Pumpkins at the tops of pages contain the numerals that match the text, allowing readers to pair them with the orange-colored, spelled-out numbers. Some of the objects proffered to count are a bit of a stretch—“Guess sixteen things we’ll see,” count 14 cars that arrived at the farm before the bus—but Smith’s artwork keeps things easy to count, except for a challenging page that asks readers to search for 17 orange items (answers are at the bottom, upside down). Strangely, Holub includes one page with nothing to count—a sign marks “15 Pumpkin Street.” Charming, multicultural round-faced characters and lots of detail encourage readers to go back through the book scouring pages for the 16 things the kids guessed they might see. Endpapers featuring a smattering of pumpkin facts round out the text.

Between its autumn and field-trip themes and the fact that not many books start countdowns from 20, this may find its way to many library shelves. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: July 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8075-6660-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: May 16, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2012

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