Text and pictures align nicely in this fresh celebration of gardening as food for both body and soul.

READ REVIEW

PLANT A LITTLE SEED

In reverent lines punctuated with occasional and near rhyme, a girl narrates the cycle of working a community-garden plot over three productive seasons.

She and her friend (a boy) plan, plant, tend and harvest fruits, veggies and flowers. Their moms help with autumn’s lush bounty: “We gather in our garden’s gifts / to pickle, bake, or freeze, or dry, / then cook a glorious autumn / feast—soups and salads, / cakes and pies.” At the culminating meal, the two families give thanks “for seeds and soil, rain and sun / and all the springtimes yet to come,” and the last double-page spread shows the friends sowing seeds anew. Christensen’s pictures—rich, brushy reds, greens and golds contoured with thick, inky black line—convey visual affirmations of friendship, cooperation and patience through changing seasons. Basic biological facts about plants, arranged on seed packets scattered across a final page, are reinforced visually throughout. A yellow dog and a rabbit (followed by the inevitable bunny babies) make frequent appearances, and even a raccoon in the corn seems less a pest than part of an idyllic, ecological whole.

Text and pictures align nicely in this fresh celebration of gardening as food for both body and soul. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: May 8, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-59643-550-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Neal Porter/Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: March 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A comical, fresh look at crayons and color

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT

Duncan wants to draw, but instead of crayons, he finds a stack of letters listing the crayons’ demands in this humorous tale.

Red is overworked, laboring even on holidays. Gray is exhausted from coloring expansive spaces (elephants, rhinos and whales). Black wants to be considered a color-in color, and Peach? He’s naked without his wrapper! This anthropomorphized lot amicably requests workplace changes in hand-lettered writing, explaining their work stoppage to a surprised Duncan. Some are tired, others underutilized, while a few want official titles. With a little creativity and a lot of color, Duncan saves the day. Jeffers delivers energetic and playful illustrations, done in pencil, paint and crayon. The drawings are loose and lively, and with few lines, he makes his characters effectively emote. Clever spreads, such as Duncan’s “white cat in the snow” perfectly capture the crayons’ conundrum, and photographic representations of both the letters and coloring pages offer another layer of texture, lending to the tale’s overall believability.

A comical, fresh look at crayons and color . (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-399-25537-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Earnest and silly by turns, it doesn’t quite capture the attention or the imagination, although surely its heart is in the...

ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER

Rhymed couplets convey the story of a girl who likes to build things but is shy about it. Neither the poetry nor Rosie’s projects always work well.

Rosie picks up trash and oddments where she finds them, stashing them in her attic room to work on at night. Once, she made a hat for her favorite zookeeper uncle to keep pythons away, and he laughed so hard that she never made anything publicly again. But when her great-great-aunt Rose comes to visit and reminds Rosie of her own past building airplanes, she expresses her regret that she still has not had the chance to fly. Great-great-aunt Rose is visibly modeled on Rosie the Riveter, the iconic, red-bandanna–wearing poster woman from World War II. Rosie decides to build a flying machine and does so (it’s a heli-o-cheese-copter), but it fails. She’s just about to swear off making stuff forever when Aunt Rose congratulates her on her failure; now she can go on to try again. Rosie wears her hair swooped over one eye (just like great-great-aunt Rose), and other figures have exaggerated hairdos, tiny feet and elongated or greatly rounded bodies. The detritus of Rosie’s collections is fascinating, from broken dolls and stuffed animals to nails, tools, pencils, old lamps and possibly an erector set. And cheddar-cheese spray.

Earnest and silly by turns, it doesn’t quite capture the attention or the imagination, although surely its heart is in the right place. (historical note) (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0845-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more