HORACE P. TUTTLE

MAGICIAN EXTRAORDINAIRE!

Fruity artwork in deep color helps put some luster into this agenda-driven story. Horace P. Tuttle fancies himself a magician extraordinaire, though his hand is more ham than sleight: he pokes his assistant Trixie during the sword-in-the-box trick; the rabbit sneezes in Horace’s pocket when he should be getting pulled from his hat; the love bird mopes through his silken-scarf routine. Horace berates them in the dressing room: “How is the audience supposed to believe my magic tricks if you keep shrieking and sneezing?” They try to explain, but Horace calls them an ungrateful bunch. He’s on the marquee; they can go take a hike. And so they do. Horace soon learns that things can get a whole lot worse. Without his assistants, his incompetence falls squarely on his shoulders and he’s booed off the stage. Reduced to performing on the sidewalk, he bumps into his old pals. Why not get together? Why not, they reply, having had none too easy a time of it themselves. Their new act—“The 5 Fantasticoes”—is sure to be a smash hit. Schneider’s message comes at readers like a freight train—actually, like a trick in the hands of Horace P. Tuttle: artless and obvious. But the illustrations have enough fanciful glamour on their own to float the show. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-8027-8788-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Walker

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2001

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While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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A slight addition to a seasonal collection redeemed by its striking illustrations.

GOODBYE WINTER, HELLO SPRING

A dialogic approach to the turn of the seasons.

A young child, with beige skin and dark hair, and a white dog walk through the darkened, snowy countryside. They greet the snow and the winter night; a frozen pond and an empty nest; and even a glass house. Each in turn answers back, offering insight into their experience of the chilly atmosphere. Following a wordless spread that serves as a pictorial climax, the season shifts toward spring, with increased sunlight, warmth, melting snow, and the renewed presence of songbirds and flowers. The world has come to life again, and the child and dog run through green fields sparsely patched with retreating snow. The contrasting color palettes and geometric shapes in the accumulating spreads effectively evoke the stark darkness of winter and the bright warmth of spring. Ground-level and bird’s-eye perspectives of the rural setting and tiny details reward eagle-eyed readers. The rapid change from nocturnal winter storm to bright, green spring day seems a bit contrived, underscoring the book’s premise of transition and metamorphosis. Moreover, the child’s conversation with the natural world at times leaves readers unclear of who is speaking, which may cause confusion during a read-aloud. This is the third book in Pak’s seasonal cycle.

A slight addition to a seasonal collection redeemed by its striking illustrations. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-15172-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Nov. 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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