Young audiences eager to strike out on their own, but not too far, will enjoy the sylvan stroll’s limited interactivity.

THROUGH THE FOREST

A walk in the woods, with choose-your-own routes.

Mother Forest, a pink-skinned figure with red cheeks and straight black hair, invites readers to choose one of two paths through her domain, inviting herself along to comment chattily about forest sights. Each option offers encounters with (Eurocentric) wildlife, from families of foxes and badgers to a green woodpecker and a wild boar, and each brings wanderers safely home at the end. As choose-your-owns go, this is a rudimentary example. The narrative often offers just one option to take, and since all of the page flipping is forward, never back (aside from invitations to start over at the end and, once, partway through), the possible itineraries are short ones. Moreover, a supposedly complete map at the end confusingly leaves out several connecting pathways. Still, with a broad, brown path winding through to trace with a finger, Brocoli’s painted scenes of stylized wildlife in woodsy settings look bright and busy without sacrificing an idyllic air. And, to expedite page flipping, the numbered stops are flagged by leaf-shaped protruding tabs that run in a colorful, irregular row down the right edge.

Young audiences eager to strike out on their own, but not too far, will enjoy the sylvan stroll’s limited interactivity. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-500-65076-9

Page Count: 33

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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Clear text, amusing illustrations, and a captivating easy-to-read story make this a winner for horse-loving emerging readers.

GOOD NIGHT, KNIGHT

From the I Like To Read series

Knight and Horse follow their dreams— literally.

Horse and Knight are exhausted when readers meet them, collapsing upon returning to their castle. But when Knight has a dream of golden cookies, he (or she—readers never see Knight with visor up) wakes the sleepy steed, and they go questing for the treasure. They look everywhere—hollow trees, the bushes, and a pond—only to find the cookies at home in a jar on the kitchen table. The loony plot and the spirited pen-and-ink–and-watercolor illustrations elevate this book above most for emerging readers. Knight’s metal suit, astonishingly, betrays emotions and energy level, whether tired, curious, or energized. (Even the armored feet look tired.) Watching Knight sleep with tush in the air will certainly elicit giggles from the youngest readers. Horse, too, is metal-clad, but its armor does not cover its skeptical eyes, allowing readers to laugh along while the near-asleep rider falls out of the saddle. Clear, readable typeface and familiar sight words are the order of the day. Repeated words (especially “good,” “night,” “horse,” “knight,” and “sleep”) punctuate the humorous story, making it easy to decode. When Horse has a dream of its own at the end, smiling readers will have no choice but to wonder where the pair are off to now.

Clear text, amusing illustrations, and a captivating easy-to-read story make this a winner for horse-loving emerging readers. (Early reader. 4-6)

Pub Date: May 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3206-6

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2015

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The percentage of American children who often visit restaurants of the type described may be relatively small, but...

CHEFS AND WHAT THEY DO

Where does the delicious food in a restaurant come from?  

When Mommy and Daddy take you to a restaurant, what happens, and where does the food come from? A chef “makes all that delicious food,” the book explains but not “all by himself”(parenthetically, children are told that a chef might also be a woman). He wears special clothes. He has special tools: different kinds of knives and spoons and pots and mixers. He keeps fresh food, brought in every morning, in a cold-storage room. Sometimes chefs make up new recipes no one has ever tasted before. He puts them on a menu. The chef and his team work hard even before the restaurant is open. When the orders come in, their work really begins. Belgian author and illustrator Slegers’ full-page illustrations of smiling chefs going about their work feature bright cartoons that look much like the babies in her board books. The text, translated from the Dutch, can sound a bit robotic, and adult readers will likely have to explain a few words. However, food-related activities to try with a parent or teacher after the info-story are a plus. 

The percentage of American children who often visit restaurants of the type described may be relatively small, but blossoming foodies will enjoy learning about activity behind the scenes in a high-end restaurant. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1605371795

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clavis

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2014

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