Readers will find themselves longing for the season’s first snow, too.

READ REVIEW

FIRST SNOW

A little Korean child celebrates the titular first snow.

Bundling up in a white snowsuit, red scarf, and white-and-red mittens, the child tiptoes out of the house in the dark of night to be joined by a young white puppy. “Pat, pat, pat. / Roll, roll, roll.” The child makes a snowball and rolls it along, under streetlamps and the moon, next to an elevated train track, and into the woods. Here, spreads that have been dominated by night-sky black dotted with fluffy, textured snowflakes turn dazzlingly white, with snow-covered trees and mountains as background. In wordless spreads, the protagonist, now dwarfed by the giant snowball, is joined by other bundled-up children, in gray and black with red accents, with giant balls of their own. Together, they make huge, smiling snowmen, both filling a vast plain and floating in the sky before the page turns, and, abruptly, all readers see is the lone, first child isolated in the right-hand corner of the spread with tongue out to catch the flakes. Another turn of the page reveals the backyard with a modest, red-mufflered snowman next to the doghouse, leaving readers to wonder how much of the adventure was real. In her debut, Seoul-based author/illustrator Park captures the magic of the first snow, her limited palette and textured canvas creating a soft, welcoming world.

Readers will find themselves longing for the season’s first snow, too. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4521-5472-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2016

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Readers will delight in discovering the joyous time pumpkins have when it’s Halloween.

PUMPKIN MAGIC

Magical moonbeams awaken a pumpkin patch to raucous Halloween-season revelry.

A moonbeam illuminates and energizes a smiley-faced pumpkin sitting alone on a stair; it promptly takes off to find a friend with whom to have a good time. An entire pumpkin patch, also sparked by the magical moon, instantly comes alive. And what merriment all the grinning gourds get up to! Their playful shenanigans include piling high on top of one another, bouncing on a trampoline, dancing, marching, and drumming, wearing costumes, and competing in games. They even engage in activities usually reserved for other holiday-themed icons—flying on brooms and making magic, for instance. As dawn approaches, the pumpkin leader escorts the cavalcade back home. At sunrise, each one takes up residence on a different house’s front porch and awaits that evening’s moonbeams to work their magic again. Liveliness and good cheer abound in this frisky rhyming tale in which the perennial holiday symbols naturally take center stage. Perky couplets that read and scan very well appear on most pages and are accompanied by energetic, expressive illustrations that highlight vivid oranges, yellows, blues, purples, and greens with touches of other bright shades.

Readers will delight in discovering the joyous time pumpkins have when it’s Halloween. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-56332-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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It’s gratifying to see Lola’s love of books leading her to new experiences.

LOLA PLANTS A GARDEN

From the Lola & Leo series

Hoping to have a garden like the one in her poetry book, Lola plants seeds, waits and weeds, and finally celebrates with friends.

The author and illustrator of Lola Loves Stories (2010) and its companion titles take their appealing character outside. Inspired by her favorite poem, the nursery rhyme “Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary” (repeated on the front endpapers), Lola chooses her favorite flowers from library books. Helped by her parents, she grows a grandly diverse flower garden, just right for a celebration with peas and strawberries from the family plot. Beardshaw’s acrylic illustrations show her garden in all its stages. They also show the copper-toned preschooler reading on her mother’s lap, making a flower book, a beaded string with bells and shells, a little Mary Mary doll and cupcakes for the celebration. Her bunchy ponytails are redone, and her flower shirt is perfect for the party. Not only has she provided the setting; she makes up a story for her friends. The simple sentences of the text and charming pictures make this a good choice for reading aloud or early reading alone. On the rear endpapers, the nursery rhyme has been adapted to celebrate “Lola, Lola, Extraordinary.”

It’s gratifying to see Lola’s love of books leading her to new experiences. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 5, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-58089-694-8

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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