A whimsical celebration of winter and an excellent choice for lap readers at bedtime.

READ REVIEW

BLUE BEAR AND SNOW TOAD

A WINTERY TALE

Two animals push off their hibernation to see the beauty of snow in this charming picture book from debut writer McCoy and veteran illustrator Svensson (The Alchemy of the Little Red Frog, 2017, etc.).

Bear and Toad sit in the snow, even though they should be hibernating. When questioned by a snowshoe hare, the bear explains that they want to enjoy wintertime scenes. Toad bemoans the fact that she’s only seen spring and summer weather before, missing out on “snowflakes drifting, / Like diamonds from the sky, brightly sifting,” as well as snowmen, sleighs, and tundra swans. In rhyming couplets, Bear and Toad celebrate the aspects of winter that they’ve missed, making the first half of the book a delightful ode to the season. However, the hare protests that the two are turning blue and should hibernate. With familiar bedtime-protest refrains (“Just a minute or an hour more”; “I’m not even tired”), Bear and Toad stay up until night falls and they can’t see any more. Some words may be a struggle for newly independent readers, but for listeners, the rhymes scan beautifully. The cartoonish illustrations are also pleasing, if not particularly inspiring.

A whimsical celebration of winter and an excellent choice for lap readers at bedtime.

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9891657-1-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Quaking Aspen Publishing

Review Posted Online: Dec. 19, 2017

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CINDERELLA

This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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THE LORAX

The greening of Dr. Seuss, in an ecology fable with an obvious message but a savingly silly style. In the desolate land of the Lifted Lorax, an aged creature called the Once-ler tells a young visitor how he arrived long ago in the then glorious country and began manufacturing anomalous objects called Thneeds from "the bright-colored tufts of the Truffula Trees." Despite protests from the Lorax, a native "who speaks for the trees," he continues to chop down Truffulas until he drives away the Brown Bar-ba-loots who had fed on the Tuffula fruit, the Swomee-Swans who can't sing a note for the smogulous smoke, and the Humming-Fish who had hummed in the pond now glumped up with Gluppity-Glupp. As for the Once-let, "1 went right on biggering, selling more Thneeds./ And I biggered my money, which everyone needs" — until the last Truffula falls. But one seed is left, and the Once-let hands it to his listener, with a message from the Lorax: "UNLESS someone like you/ cares a whole awful lot,/ nothing is going to get better./ It's not." The spontaneous madness of the old Dr. Seuss is absent here, but so is the boredom he often induced (in parents, anyway) with one ridiculous invention after another. And if the Once-let doesn't match the Grinch for sheer irresistible cussedness, he is stealing a lot more than Christmas and his story just might induce a generation of six-year-olds to care a whole lot.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 1971

ISBN: 0394823370

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1971

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