This book is sweeter than honey.

THE HIDDEN RAINBOW

This color/counting/concept book will have young readers buzzing.

Following a bee as she emerges from the hollow of a tree and visits a nearby garden full of flowers and fruit trees, readers will learn a lot about both nature and essential concepts. Starting with red tulips, the honeybee is joined by nine of her sisters as they visit a range of flowers and colors in rainbow order. With each new visit, readers are encouraged to perform a small kinetic act to advance the action before the page turn: wipe snow off a blossom, wave the bees onward, blow away some rain drops, etc. Experienced educators and librarians will use these time-honored tricks to turn this into a memorable and active experience, and the directions are so straightforward that an untrained caregiver or new reader will be able to take full advantage of the book during a lap-read too. Once the work with the flowers is done, the bees are off to the fruit trees and bushes, where the book allows readers to engage in a conversation about healthy fruits and how they’re grown. The watercolor-and-collage illustrations deftly support the text, and bright, full-page color that backgrounds text as each new flower is introduced is bold enough to be seen from the back of the room. Additional backmatter expands on the role of honeybees.

This book is sweeter than honey. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: June 9, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-239341-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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Inspiring, adventurous fun for aspirational kids.

SADIE SPROCKET BUILDS A ROCKET

A little girl’s imaginative plan to become an astronaut and be the first to travel to Mars really takes off.

Together with a crew of stuffed animals (owl, rabbit, and teddy bear), Sadie Sprocket does her research, gathers materials to build her spaceship, and, with support from family and friends—and media coverage—embarks on her historic journey. Rhyming quatrains tell the story of how Sadie patiently reads, cooks, and records important data during the 100-day interplanetary journey. And then: “The Earth behind, so far away, / was now a tiny dot. / Then Sadie cried, ‘There’s planet Mars! / It’s smaller than I thought!’ ” After landing and gathering 20 bags of samples, Sadie and crew are stuck in a red sandstorm while trying to take off again. But with Sadie’s determination and can-do spirit, they blast off, safely returning to Earth with future heroic space-exploration ideas in mind. Spiky cartoons transform a child’s playroom into an outer-space venue, complete with twinkling stars and colorful planets. Sadie presents White while her encouraging fans feature more diversity. An addendum includes brief facts about Mars and a handful of women space scientists. (This book was reviewed digitally with 11-by-17-inch double-page spreads viewed at 50% of actual size.)

Inspiring, adventurous fun for aspirational kids. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5420-1803-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way.

NOAH CHASES THE WIND

A young boy sees things a little differently than others.

Noah can see patterns in the dust when it sparkles in the sunlight. And if he puts his nose to the ground, he can smell the “green tang of the ants in the grass.” His most favorite thing of all, however, is to read. Noah has endless curiosity about how and why things work. Books open the door to those answers. But there is one question the books do not explain. When the wind comes whistling by, where does it go? Noah decides to find out. In a chase that has a slight element of danger—wind, after all, is unpredictable—Noah runs down streets, across bridges, near a highway, until the wind lifts him off his feet. Cowman’s gusty wisps show each stream of air turning a different jewel tone, swirling all around. The ribbons gently bring Noah home, setting him down under the same thinking tree where he began. Did it really happen? Worthington’s sensitive exploration leaves readers with their own set of questions and perhaps gratitude for all types of perspective. An author’s note mentions children on the autism spectrum but widens to include all who feel a little different.

An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60554-356-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Redleaf Lane

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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