SEASONS

Paging through this long series of full-page or full-spread serigraphic seasonal scenes and iconic images quickly becomes immersive. As the artist goes for silhouettes and broad, sometimes layered patches of color rather than fine detail (though there’s some of that too, in a delicate mosquito or the subtle sheen of a luscious plum), the multi-year round has an abstract, dreamlike quality that will draw viewers into the rhythms of each season. It’s a human-centered but outdoorsy world: Flowers and leaves bud, open and fall; birds thread a piece of yarn into their nest; an ice-cream cart wheels by; a splashy swim is followed by a sunburned back. Though the mood is largely idyllic, a flood, a forest fire, an avalanche and several other dramatic incidents add emotional dimension. Big one- or two-word captions accompany each picture and sometimes create links—a fall of “Snow” draws grown-ups outside for a “Snowball Fight,” which gives way to “Silence” over a pulled-back view of an isolated, cozy house with a curl of smoke above the chimney. Both a stylish debut (on this side of the Atlantic) and a distinctive showcase for this French comics illustrator. (Artist’s album. 4 & up)

Pub Date: April 30, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-59270-095-0

Page Count: 180

Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2010

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

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

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 3, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

THE ABCS OF BLACK HISTORY

A substantive and affirming addition to any collection.

An impressive array of names, events, and concepts from Black history are introduced in this alphabet book for early-elementary readers.

From A for anthem (“a banner of song / that wraps us in hope, lets us know we belong”) to Z for zenith (“the top of that mountain King said we would reach”), this picture book is a journey through episodes, ideas, and personalities that represent a wide range of Black experiences. Some spreads celebrate readers themselves, like B for beautiful (“I’m talking to you!”); others celebrate accomplishments, such as E for explore (Matthew Henson, Mae Jemison), or experiences, like G for the Great Migration. The rhyming verses are light on the tongue, making the reading smooth and soothing. The brightly colored, folk art–style illustrations offer vibrant scenes of historical and contemporary Black life, with common people and famous people represented in turn. Whether reading straight through and poring over each page or flipping about to look at the refreshing scenes full of brown and black faces, readers will feel pride and admiration for the resilience and achievements of Black people and a call to participate in the “unfinished…American tale.” Endnotes clarify terms and figures, and a resource list includes child-friendly books, websites, museums, and poems.

A substantive and affirming addition to any collection. (Informational picture book. 6-11)

Pub Date: Dec. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5235-0749-8

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2020

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