Not as successful as some of their grammar and other math titles, still, this may help teachers put time in perspective.




From the Math is CATegorical series

Cleary and Gable’s cool cats tackle the topic of time.

“Time can be measured in seconds, in minutes, in days, or in weeks, months, or years / by watches or calendars, cell phones, computers, or clocks that ticktock with their gears.” Beginning with seconds, Cleary tackles each of these time measurements (as well as hours and decades), describing the things that can be done in each—four rounds of the birthday song might take a minute, for instance, while “If you rode your bike or you skated an hour, your legs would sure have to be strong!”—and how they compare to the others, i.e., seven days in a week and 60 minutes in an hour. Some of these explanations are better than others, though; the description of the number of days in a month is scant, and only February is mentioned (as having 28 days, 29 every four years). Cleary’s rhyming verses sometimes limp along, throwing off both meaning and rhythm to match the rhyme scheme. Gable’s cats are as full of personality as ever, and there are humorous situations aplenty in his artwork, though time is quite a tricky concept to try to illustrate.

Not as successful as some of their grammar and other math titles, still, this may help teachers put time in perspective. (Math picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-8225-7883-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Millbrook

Review Posted Online: July 3, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

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Thank you, Gerald and Piggie. We’ll miss you


From the Elephant & Piggie series

Piggie is “one lucky pig,” and she’s determined to make sure she thanks “everyone who is important to” her in this, the final Elephant & Piggie book.

Gerald is sure his friend will forget someone—“someone important”—but Piggie assures him, “It will be a THANK-O-RAMA!” Piggie proceeds to thank the Squirrels for their great ideas, Snake for playing ball, and the Pigeon “for never giving up.” Piggie thanks and thanks: “I am a thanking machine!” She thanks character after character, even the Flies (“Any time, dude!”), as Gerald continues to interject that she’ll forget “someone VERY important.” Finally Piggie runs out of thanks, and by this time Gerald is steamed. “I goofed,” Piggie says in itty-bitty type, before lavishing thanks on Gerald. But that’s not whom Piggie forgot to thank! A classic Willems tantrum later, Gerald reveals the “someone important”: “Our reader.” Of course. “We could not be ‘us’ without you,” says Gerald, earnestly looking out from the page, and Piggie chimes in, “You are the best!” As Elephant & Piggie books go, this isn’t one of the strongest, but it is a validating valediction to fans of the two characters, who have won Willems two Geisel Medals and five Honors. Yes, Gerald and Piggie have ushered countless readers into literacy, but as they rightly note, reading is a collaborative act.

Thank you, Gerald and Piggie. We’ll miss you . (Early reader. 5-8)

Pub Date: May 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4231-7828-6

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2016

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A dustball of fun for fairly fluent readers.


Chores become fun via an enormous flying dustball and word nerdery.

Bespectacled Davey is sweeping under the couch. When he enlists his dog’s grudging help to dispose of a sizable dustball, a gust of wind takes the two up, up, and away on a grand adventure to Italy, Hawaii, China, and Switzerland. Along with sending the pair to a new location, each chapter also introduces a “big word,” such as “irksome,” “brouhaha,” “lollygagging,” “collywobbles,” and “phenomenon.” As in series opener The Missing Donut (2018), colorful beings called Sprinklers pop in to alert the reader before any “big word” is introduced (“Big word coming. BIG!”). Their leader, the Sprinkle Fairy, adds idiom-filled commentary. The repetitive formula, which smartly deviates in the final chapter to combine all the “big words” into a humorous skit, will indeed introduce readers who have some confidence already to new words. The quirky cartoon illustrations have ample white space, but readers unfamiliar with comics conventions may find the layout hard to follow without panels and speech bubbles. Additionally, the globe-trotting sequences rely on visual stereotypes to convey the locations (for example, the Swiss characters wear lederhosen and dirndls, and the Italians carry plates of spaghetti and meatballs; the depiction of an elderly Chinese man avoids facial stereotypes, however). Davey has brown skin and black hair; the Sprinkle Fairy presents white.

A dustball of fun for fairly fluent readers. (Early reader. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-77138-789-7

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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