Splendid for storytimes or snuggles.

SEASIDE STROLL

The wonders of a winter walk.

This charming outing delights in many ways. First, the entire story is told with s-words, adjectives, verbs, and nouns: scruffy, slosh, and, best of all, standstill, as the two beachgoers, an adult and a child, encounter something special. Read more closely, it’s a poem with a pleasing rhythm and repetitions and a balanced, grammatical structure (explained further in an afterword). The text sits directly on full-bleed illustrations with just one or two lines to a spread, sometimes only a word. Pacing is also indicated with ellipses and page turns. “Slow steps—shuffle, straddle, saunter…sand” take the pair to the beach. Later there’s a “Steady step, solid step, shaky step…stumble,” and finally “Swift steps—scamper, scuttle, scurry…shower” before bedtime. Lechuga’s illustrations, done in an appropriately wintry, bleached-out palette, add depth and detail. The two have pale skin and straight light and darker brown hair for child and adult respectively. They dress appropriately for a cold winter walk. The adult’s A-shaped figure suggests possible pregnancy. The child carries a doll, which also wears a knitted cap. The beach they visit is full of wonders. Most astonishing are the crabs—who return, in this well-rounded tale, in a shared bedtime story. The winter landscape and changing sky are carefully depicted with added watercolor textures. One striking scene is a spread full of seabirds taking off as the girl approaches. “Super!”

Splendid for storytimes or snuggles. (suggestions for exploring the beach in winter) (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 19, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-58089-932-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: Nov. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2020

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A comical, fresh look at crayons and color

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THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT

Duncan wants to draw, but instead of crayons, he finds a stack of letters listing the crayons’ demands in this humorous tale.

Red is overworked, laboring even on holidays. Gray is exhausted from coloring expansive spaces (elephants, rhinos and whales). Black wants to be considered a color-in color, and Peach? He’s naked without his wrapper! This anthropomorphized lot amicably requests workplace changes in hand-lettered writing, explaining their work stoppage to a surprised Duncan. Some are tired, others underutilized, while a few want official titles. With a little creativity and a lot of color, Duncan saves the day. Jeffers delivers energetic and playful illustrations, done in pencil, paint and crayon. The drawings are loose and lively, and with few lines, he makes his characters effectively emote. Clever spreads, such as Duncan’s “white cat in the snow” perfectly capture the crayons’ conundrum, and photographic representations of both the letters and coloring pages offer another layer of texture, lending to the tale’s overall believability.

A comical, fresh look at crayons and color . (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-399-25537-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

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As ephemeral as a valentine.

LOVE FROM THE CRAYONS

Daywalt and Jeffers’ wandering crayons explore love.

Each double-page spread offers readers a vision of one of the anthropomorphic crayons on the left along with the statement “Love is [color].” The word love is represented by a small heart in the appropriate color. Opposite, childlike crayon drawings explain how that color represents love. So, readers learn, “love is green. / Because love is helpful.” The accompanying crayon drawing depicts two alligators, one holding a recycling bin and the other tossing a plastic cup into it, offering readers two ways of understanding green. Some statements are thought-provoking: “Love is white. / Because sometimes love is hard to see,” reaches beyond the immediate image of a cat’s yellow eyes, pink nose, and black mouth and whiskers, its white face and body indistinguishable from the paper it’s drawn on, to prompt real questions. “Love is brown. / Because sometimes love stinks,” on the other hand, depicted by a brown bear standing next to a brown, squiggly turd, may provoke giggles but is fundamentally a cheap laugh. Some of the color assignments have a distinctly arbitrary feel: Why is purple associated with the imagination and pink with silliness? Fans of The Day the Crayons Quit (2013) hoping for more clever, metaliterary fun will be disappointed by this rather syrupy read.

As ephemeral as a valentine. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-9268-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2021

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