A collection that may elicit a few giggles, and its illustrations may draw a more reluctant crowd.

IF THE EARTH IS ROUND

BEGINNER: VOLUME 1

Comedy is at the center of this rhyming poetry collection from Fleishman with cartoon illustrations by Harston (The Old Testament Sticker Puzzle, 2017, etc.).

Fleishman’s 21 poems for young independent readers have easy-to-grasp vocabulary and plenty of rhymes. Early verses involve a wide variety of topics, such as a ghost who only fits in on Halloween, a boy who carts his piano up 53 flights of stairs for music lessons, and The Wizard of Oz’s Dorothy Gale’s farmhouse for sale (complete with dead witch). A standout is “Baby Piper,” in which a child smells something funny and agrees to help change the baby, so long as he doesn’t have to “wipe.” Others are less humorous, such as “Lucky Girl,” in which a gross-out character looks forward to having a wife, and the title poem, which questions the shape of the earth. The tone is reminiscent of classic poet Shel Silverstein’s, but the humor never quite reaches the same level, and some turns of phrase (such as “It eats food of other teddy bears”) read awkwardly. Harston’s boldly colored illustrations, which feature diverse children, add intriguing details, revealing a dangerous staircase in one poem and a roller coaster hazard in another.

A collection that may elicit a few giggles, and its illustrations may draw a more reluctant crowd.

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2017

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Mindstir Media

Review Posted Online: Aug. 11, 2017

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Little Blue’s fans will enjoy the animal sounds and counting opportunities, but it’s the sparkling lights on the truck’s own...

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S CHRISTMAS

The sturdy Little Blue Truck is back for his third adventure, this time delivering Christmas trees to his band of animal pals.

The truck is decked out for the season with a Christmas wreath that suggests a nose between headlights acting as eyeballs. Little Blue loads up with trees at Toad’s Trees, where five trees are marked with numbered tags. These five trees are counted and arithmetically manipulated in various ways throughout the rhyming story as they are dropped off one by one to Little Blue’s friends. The final tree is reserved for the truck’s own use at his garage home, where he is welcomed back by the tree salestoad in a neatly circular fashion. The last tree is already decorated, and Little Blue gets a surprise along with readers, as tiny lights embedded in the illustrations sparkle for a few seconds when the last page is turned. Though it’s a gimmick, it’s a pleasant surprise, and it fits with the retro atmosphere of the snowy country scenes. The short, rhyming text is accented with colored highlights, red for the animal sounds and bright green for the numerical words in the Christmas-tree countdown.

Little Blue’s fans will enjoy the animal sounds and counting opportunities, but it’s the sparkling lights on the truck’s own tree that will put a twinkle in a toddler’s eyes. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 23, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-544-32041-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2014

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HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS!

Another Seuss-chimera joins the ranks of the unforgettable Herlar and with the advent of the Grinch— a sort of Yule Ghoul who lives in a cave just north of who-ville. While all the Who's made ready on Christmas Eve the Grinch donned a Santa-Claus disguise. In gurgling verse at a galloping gait, we learn how the Grinch stole the "presents, the ribbons, the wrappings, the tags, the tinsel and trappings," from all the Who's. But the Grinch's heart (two sizes too small) melted just in time when he realized that the Who's enjoyed Christmas without any externals. Youngsters will be in transports over the goofy gaiety of Dr. Seuss's first book about a villain — easily the best Christmas-cad since Scrooge. Inimitable Seuss illustrations of the Grinch's dog Max disguised as a reindeer are in black and white with touches of red. Irrepressible and irresistible.

Pub Date: Oct. 12, 1957

ISBN: 0394800796

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1957

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