A vividly illustrated, if flawed, picture book.

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100 THINGS

Author-illustrator Helms (Honk Whoop, 2017) offers a silly story of a child’s 100th day of school.

The protagonist (“Kid,” according to the label on his backpack) has an assignment—bring 100 things to school on the 100th day of classes. In a rhyming list, Kid begins to think about what he could bring in. Some are realistic, such as “pins or snaps or staples or stickers. / Cotton swabs, pebbles, bottle caps, nail clippers.” Other ideas vary in size and shape to include paper snowflakes, an aquarium full of fish, and a genie lamp, followed by more abstract notions: different cloud shapes, the ‘total sum of minutes that make 40 plus one hour,’ and the (unnamed) things that make Kid special. There are some questionable inclusions, including rabbits’ feet (shown on a key ring, but the concept may bother some readers), dead ants, and “arrows in an Indian quiver.” In the end, Kid attaches all of these ideas on his “thinking cap” and brings it to school, and the busy illustrations contain plenty of cool details. However, the image of Kid himself is remarkably flat, and the rhyme and rhythm scan unevenly, with odd line-breaks. Still, schools in need of more titles about the 100th day may find value here.

A vividly illustrated, if flawed, picture book.

Pub Date: April 15, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-9963397-5-9

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Set Free Publishing

Review Posted Online: July 9, 2018

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CINDERELLA

This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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THE LORAX

The greening of Dr. Seuss, in an ecology fable with an obvious message but a savingly silly style. In the desolate land of the Lifted Lorax, an aged creature called the Once-ler tells a young visitor how he arrived long ago in the then glorious country and began manufacturing anomalous objects called Thneeds from "the bright-colored tufts of the Truffula Trees." Despite protests from the Lorax, a native "who speaks for the trees," he continues to chop down Truffulas until he drives away the Brown Bar-ba-loots who had fed on the Tuffula fruit, the Swomee-Swans who can't sing a note for the smogulous smoke, and the Humming-Fish who had hummed in the pond now glumped up with Gluppity-Glupp. As for the Once-let, "1 went right on biggering, selling more Thneeds./ And I biggered my money, which everyone needs" — until the last Truffula falls. But one seed is left, and the Once-let hands it to his listener, with a message from the Lorax: "UNLESS someone like you/ cares a whole awful lot,/ nothing is going to get better./ It's not." The spontaneous madness of the old Dr. Seuss is absent here, but so is the boredom he often induced (in parents, anyway) with one ridiculous invention after another. And if the Once-let doesn't match the Grinch for sheer irresistible cussedness, he is stealing a lot more than Christmas and his story just might induce a generation of six-year-olds to care a whole lot.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 1971

ISBN: 0394823370

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1971

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