Very young book lovers might be intrigued by the peekaboo game but will be better served by a more accurate representation...




Secret life under, in and around an apple tree can be revealed when light shines through the pages of this interactive, flawed book.

“Many animals live around the tree. Can you see who the bird is about to grab?” The author suggests that readers use a flashlight or hold the page up to a light to discern what might occupy the plain green area in the middle of the page. Luckily, if this proves awkward, or the right-sized light isn’t available, the answers to the questions posed on each colorful right-hand page are revealed in the black-and-white silhouettes on the next page (in this case, earthworms). The bird takes one of the earthworms to her chicks in a leaf-covered nest. A toad hides in the leaves, a lizard shelters under stones, and a moth is camouflaged on the trunk. In one unfortunate page turn, a paper-wasp nest is inaccurately revealed to be a honeybee hive; compounding the problem, the bees are called bumblebees. (Bumblebees are shaped differently and normally nest on or under the ground.) A paragraph of further information about each animal described is provided at the end. These generalizations leave readers with facts to be unlearned later: Though butterflies fold their wings to hide their bright colors, moths do not; birds that nest in trees often eat seeds as well as the enumerated slugs, snails, insects and fruits.

Very young book lovers might be intrigued by the peekaboo game but will be better served by a more accurate representation of the natural world. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-61067-243-6

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2014

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A culturally intricate slice of a lupine courier’s life.


From the ¡Vamos! series

Little Lobo and his dog, Bernabé, journey through a Mexican mercado delivering diverse goods to a variety of booths.

With the aid of red words splattered throughout the spreads as labels, Raúl the Third gives an introduction to Spanish vocabulary as Little Lobo, an anthropomorphic wolf, leaves his house, fills his cart with objects from his warehouse, and delivers them to the market’s vendors. The journey also serves as a crash course in Mexican culture, as the images are packed with intertextual details such as food, traditional games, and characters, including Cantinflas, Frida Khalo, and Juan Gabriel. Readers acquainted with Raúl the Third’s characters from his Lowriders series with author Cathy Camper will appreciate cameos from familiar characters. As he makes his rounds, Little Lobo also collects different artifacts that people offer in exchange for his deliveries of shoe polish, clothespins, wood, tissue paper, paintbrushes, and a pair of golden laces. Although Raúl the Third departs from the ball-pen illustrations that he is known for, his depiction of creatures and critters peppering the borderland where his stories are set remains in his trademark style. The softer hues in the illustrations (chosen by colorist Bay) keep the busy compositions friendly, and the halftone patterns filling the illustrations create foregrounds and backgrounds reminiscent of Roy Lichtenstein’s pointillism.

A culturally intricate slice of a lupine courier’s life. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-55726-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Versify/HMH

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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It takes a village to make a school. In Chad, big brothers and sisters lead the way for younger children on the first day of school. Little Thomas is full of questions. When he and the other children arrive, there are no classrooms and no desks. But the teacher's there, holding a trowel. "We will build our school," she declares. Everyone sets to work, making mud bricks that dry in the sun and a roof out of grass and saplings. Thomas loves his lessons; every day he learns something new. At the end of the school year, the minds of the students "are fat with knowledge." And just in time: The rainy season arrives and makes short work of the schoolhouse. Come September, they'll start all over. Rumford's illustrations make great use of color, dark brown skin and bright shirts, shorts and dresses against golden backgrounds, the hues applied in smudgy layers that infuse each scene with warmth—until the gray rains arrive. It's a nifty social-studies lesson tucked into a warm tale of community. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-547-24307-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 1, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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