The original song with its three-part counterpoint is deliciously imagined on these pages.

READ REVIEW

IT'S RAINING, IT'S POURING

In 1961, Peter, Paul and Mary made an extremely engaging piece combining the title ditty, a game of hide-and-seek and snatches of nursery rhymes; Davenier takes it a visual step further to make an absolutely engaging picture book.

Fluid colors and vivacious line define the images, which not only show a wonderful old house with a warm kitchen and a fine old stairway, but a huge apple tree outside. Populating this cozy locale are a gaggle of children visiting grandma and grandpa. It’s grandpa who is in bed with an ice pack on his head (“the old man is snoring. / Bumped his head…”) The children, driven indoors by the rain, start a game of hide-and-seek. One moppet climbs into bed next to grandpa and reads to him. Familiar nursery rhymes (“Star light, star bright”; “Hey diddle-diddle”) play out in the pictures with grandpa and moppet as actors. Meanwhile, the barefoot children (all of their shoes are lined up by the stairs) are quietly hiding in the closet, under the table where grandma is peeling apples and even under grandpa’s bed! (That’s where the twins are.)  There’s a big old dog and a ginger cat, and the cow who jumped over the moon—at least in grandpa’s and moppet’s imaginations—peeks in the window at “Olly, Olly in free!” And it looks like the sun has come out. A note about the song from the performers, Davenier’s note about being at her grandmother’s with all of her cousins and an enclosed three-song CD round out a near-perfect whole.

The original song with its three-part counterpoint is deliciously imagined on these pages. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-936140-77-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Peter Yarrow/Imagine

Review Posted Online: April 18, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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A lyrical coming-of-age story in picture-book form that begs to be shared.

IMAGINE

Former Poet Laureate Herrera encourages his young readers to imagine all they might be in his new picture book.

Herrera’s free verse tells his own story, starting as a young boy who loves the plants and animals he finds outdoors in the California fields and is then thrust into the barren, concrete city. In the city he begins to learn to read and write, learning English and discovering a love for words and the way ink flows “like tiny rivers” across the page as he applies pen to paper. Words soon become sentences, poems, lyrics, and a means of escape. This love of the word ultimately leads him to make writing his vocation and to become the first Chicano Poet Laureate of the United States, an honor Herrera received in 2015. Through this story of hardship to success, expressed in a series of conditional statements that all begin “If I,” Herrera implores his readers to “imagine what you could do.” Castillo’s ink and foam monoprint illustrations are a tender accompaniment to Herrera’s verse, the black lines of her illustrations flowing across the page in rhythm with the author’s poetry. Together this makes for a charming read-aloud for groups or a child snuggled in a lap.

A lyrical coming-of-age story in picture-book form that begs to be shared. (Picture book/memoir. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9052-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

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This simple and sincere tale of working up courage to face fears makes quite a splash.

JABARI JUMPS

Young Jabari decides today is the day he is going to jump from the diving board, even though it’s a little high and a little scary.

Jabari’s father and baby sister accompany him to the swimming pool in the city, where Jabari has already made up his mind about today’s goal: jumping off the diving board. “I’m a great jumper,” he says, “so I’m not scared at all.” But that’s not entirely true. Readers see Jabari play the waiting game as the other children (a diverse bunch) make their ways past him in line. Once Jabari finally begins to climb up, he slyly remembers that he forgot to “stretch.” The stalling techniques don’t faze his dad, who sees an opportunity for a life lesson. “It’s okay to feel a little scared,” offers his dad at the side of the pool. With renewed will, Jabari returns to the towering diving board, ready to embrace the feat. In her debut, Cornwall places her loving black family at the center, coloring the swimming pool and park beyond in minty hues and adding whimsy with digitally collaged newspaper for skyscrapers. A bird’s-eye view of Jabari’s toes clinging to the edge of the diving board as he looks way, way down at the blue pool below puts readers in his head and in the action.

This simple and sincere tale of working up courage to face fears makes quite a splash. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 9, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7838-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2017

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