Something of a snooze.

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NO MORE BEDTIME!

A whiz-kid comes up with an invention to stop time.

Elliot hates how bedtime stops his fun every day, so he creates zany inventions to slow the progression of time. His exasperated parents punish him with an even earlier bedtime, telling him, “Because at the end of the day, son, it’s time to go to bed.” This curt rationale leads Elliot to dream up an invention to make “a day that never ends.” He researches a plan with the unwitting school librarian, Mr. Takaki, who explains how the Earth spins on its axis to create the movement from day to night. Inspired, Elliot creates the Sun-Snagger 5000 with magnets, balloons, and a windmill with the hours marked on its vanes in his backyard. Readers must suspend a lot of disbelief to accept that the rickety, homemade contraption stops the Earth’s rotation, achieving his goal of stopping time. At first, Elliot is delighted by the never-ending day, but he soon realizes that an eternal day means no more birthdays, or holidays, or growing up. So he simply turns off the invention, delivering an anticlimactic end to the story, which is weakly remedied by his little sister’s sly, final-page invention to create an eternal night. Elliot and his family present white in the stiff illustrations, which verge on caricature.

Something of a snooze. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-553-53561-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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Earnest and silly by turns, it doesn’t quite capture the attention or the imagination, although surely its heart is in the...

ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER

Rhymed couplets convey the story of a girl who likes to build things but is shy about it. Neither the poetry nor Rosie’s projects always work well.

Rosie picks up trash and oddments where she finds them, stashing them in her attic room to work on at night. Once, she made a hat for her favorite zookeeper uncle to keep pythons away, and he laughed so hard that she never made anything publicly again. But when her great-great-aunt Rose comes to visit and reminds Rosie of her own past building airplanes, she expresses her regret that she still has not had the chance to fly. Great-great-aunt Rose is visibly modeled on Rosie the Riveter, the iconic, red-bandanna–wearing poster woman from World War II. Rosie decides to build a flying machine and does so (it’s a heli-o-cheese-copter), but it fails. She’s just about to swear off making stuff forever when Aunt Rose congratulates her on her failure; now she can go on to try again. Rosie wears her hair swooped over one eye (just like great-great-aunt Rose), and other figures have exaggerated hairdos, tiny feet and elongated or greatly rounded bodies. The detritus of Rosie’s collections is fascinating, from broken dolls and stuffed animals to nails, tools, pencils, old lamps and possibly an erector set. And cheddar-cheese spray.

Earnest and silly by turns, it doesn’t quite capture the attention or the imagination, although surely its heart is in the right place. (historical note) (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0845-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2013

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This pleasant look at gardening in a city setting reflects a growing trend.

ANYWHERE FARM

Several inner-city children work together to plant seeds and cultivate their own gardens, transforming their little “anywhere farms” into a lush, green community garden covering a vacant city lot.

A pink-cheeked little girl in overalls receives a single seed from a helpful tan-skinned neighbor on the title page, and she then inspires a flurry of gardening in her neighborhood with children and adults of different ethnicities joining in, including a white boy who uses a wheelchair. The bouncy, rhyming text conveys the basic requirements of growing plants from seeds as well as suggesting a wide variety of unusual containers for growing plants. Several leading questions about the plant growth cycle are interspersed within the story, set in large type on full pages that show a seed gradually sprouting and growing into a huge sunflower on the final, wordless page. The joyful text makes growing flowers and vegetables seem easy, showing plants spilling out of alternative containers as well as more traditional raised beds and the concluding, large garden plot. The text focuses on the titular concept of an “anywhere farm,” without differentiating between farms and gardens, but this conceit is part of the amusing, rollicking tone. Detailed, soft-focus illustrations in mixed media use an autumnal palette of muted green, peach, and tan that don’t quite match the buoyant flavor of the cheerful text.

This pleasant look at gardening in a city setting reflects a growing trend. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7499-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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