Zolotow's text was first published in 1980, but it still resonates with today’s parents and children, particularly as...

READ REVIEW

SAY IT!

As a mother and daughter enjoy “a golden, windy autumn day,” the daughter urges her mother to “say it.”

Their walk in a countryside full of fall’s beauty is punctuated by a series of small activities such as kicking up leaves, and by amiable encounters with, first, a small black kitten and later, an obviously familiar big dog. Masterful imagery in the text includes “and the trees in the pond shivered into a million zigzagging streaks of color.” The mother uses some delicious phrases, such as, “It’s a golden, shining, splendiferous day!” Voake’s pen-and-ink with watercolor illustrations perfectly complement the mood set by Zolotow’s text, which combines love and camaraderie with the exhilaration of a sunny, crisp day. The artwork is so well-executed that simple lines clearly communicate such emotions as tenderness and trust on faces and in posture. The layout is handsome, from text placement to endpapers. The mother’s gently teasing responses to the little girl’s insistent “Say it” conclude with a sweet reminder to little ones who are looking at the pictures and listening to their favorite grown-up read the book. The only disappointment for those who remember the original, equally endearing, illustrations by James Stevenson might be that the characters are again portrayed as decidedly of European descent.

Zolotow's text was first published in 1980, but it still resonates with today’s parents and children, particularly as imagined by Voake. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-8115-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Both perfect for Lola fans and likely to earn her ever more readers.

LOLA GOES TO SCHOOL

From the Lola & Leo series

After years of everyday joys with McQuinn and Beardshaw’s Lola, readers now watch her start school.

It “will be a bit like story time at the library, but Lola will stay by herself.” The little black girl “knows what to expect” because she’s visited the school with her mom. She is prepared with gifts from loved ones—“fun pencils” from Nana, a water bottle from Ty. The night before her “big day,” Lola lays out her outfit. In the morning, she tucks her stuffed kitty, Dinah, in her bag and poses for a snapshot. In the classroom, Miss Suzan, a white woman, shows her where to put her things. Lola spends time reading with her friend Julia, who has pale skin and black hair, and then they play dress-up. Her mom sits for a while before saying goodbye. After snack time and more play, there is circle time. Of course, “Lola knows the song and all the motions.” Picking Lola up at the end of the day, Mommy hugs her daughter. Beardshaw’s soft, slightly smudgy illustrations allow young readers to focus on one cozy moment at a time. Even at this milestone, Lola still appears quite tiny, and the text is no more complex than in previous books, making this a seamless transition from Lola’s younger days to her new life in school.

Both perfect for Lola fans and likely to earn her ever more readers. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 11, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-58089-938-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Still, this young boy’s imagination is a powerful force for helping him deal with life, something that should be true for...

OLIVER AND HIS EGG

Oliver, of first-day-of-school alligator fame, is back, imagining adventures and still struggling to find balance between introversion and extroversion.

“When Oliver found his egg…” on the playground, mint-green backgrounds signifying Oliver’s flight into fancy slowly grow larger until they take up entire spreads; Oliver’s creature, white and dinosaurlike with orange polka dots, grows larger with them. Their adventures include sharing treats, sailing the seas and going into outer space. A classmate’s yell brings him back to reality, where readers see him sitting on top of a rock. Even considering Schmid’s scribbly style, readers can almost see the wheels turning in his head as he ponders the girl and whether or not to give up his solitary play. “But when Oliver found his rock… // Oliver imagined many adventures // with all his friends!” This last is on a double gatefold that opens to show the children enjoying the creature’s slippery curves. A final wordless spread depicts all the children sitting on rocks, expressions gleeful, wondering, waiting, hopeful. The illustrations, done in pastel pencil and digital color, again make masterful use of white space and page turns, although this tale is not nearly as funny or tongue-in-cheek as Oliver and His Alligator (2013), nor is its message as clear and immediately accessible to children.

Still, this young boy’s imagination is a powerful force for helping him deal with life, something that should be true for all children but sadly isn’t. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: July 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-7573-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more