KIDS LIKE US

As the yellow bus pulls away into the drizzle, it leaves behind a cluster of energetic youngsters at preschool, ready for a day of playacting. The mastery of this book lies in the portrayal of the world through the children’s creative perspective. By overlaying each illustration of the kids’ actual activities with slightly transparent gouache, Morgan beautifully brings to life what they’re all imagining. As the fire engine goes by, readers see “Firefighters like us!” with squirting hoses and cherry-red helmets. As they rummage through the costume trunk and pull back the purple curtain to put on a show, readers see “Clowns like us!” as they “Yee-ha!” and “Wa-hoo!” into circus antics. When they venture into the jungle, readers see “Dinosaurs like us!” as ordinary dinosaur toys transform the children into T. rex and Apatosaurus. Each page rings with such wonderfully onomatopoeic sounds as “Wuffle,” “Scritchy-scratch” and “Ring-a-ding!” The names of colors appear in appropriately hued inks, providing an extra learning experience. A sure-fire impetus for rousing make-believe play! (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-670-06290-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2008

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ONE BEAN

PLB 0-8027-8649-9 The simple life cycle of a bean provides a practical and understandable example of scientific observation for budding young naturalists. Starting with a hand shown holding a single bean, readers journey full circle from soaking, planting, and watering, to flowering, harvesting, and eating. Uncluttered three-dimensional artwork complements the short, simple text; each stage of the bean’s transformation from seed to vegetable is shown in large scale, drawn so realistically that the texture of the skin seems to show the strain as the bean gets ready to put down roots. This is an ideal book for classrooms where students can’t resist the temptation to keep “checking” on their bean plants. (Picture book/nonfiction. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-8027-8648-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Walker

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1998

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TOO MANY TOYS

Spencer owns a multitude of toys: old toys and new ones, big toys and small ones, bath toys, wooden toys, board games, computer games, miniature cars and trucks, musical instruments, stuffed animals and action figures. They are everywhere, including on the floor where his parents can trip on them. One day, Spencer’s mom has had enough and announces that some of the toys have to go. Shaken, Spencer cries, “BUT I LOVE THEM ALL!” There’s no stopping Spencer’s mom, however, who says she will help and proves to be a worthy adversary when Spencer attempts to make deals. Snappy dialogue and an absolutely on-target understanding of the psyches of both mother and child make the negotiation scene absolutely priceless. Will they both make it through the harrowing task before them? The elaborate, child-friendly pictures perfectly capture Spencer’s world, zeroing in on the chaos with glee and then pulling back to demonstrate graphically the traumas suffered by both adults and child in the process. Shannon’s sardonic wit will strike a chord with parents and children alike. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-439-49029-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2008

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