GUS AND GRANDPA AT BASKETBALL

Distraction is a drag when you have to concentrate, and having Dad in the stands at the basketball game yelling at you to do this and do that can be a major sensory overload. In this seventh title in the Gus and Grandpa series, Gus is introduced to the game of basketball. It’s magic out there on the practice court: Gus likes the pace, the coach, and the sweet sound of swish as the ball kisses the net. He continues to play when visiting his Grandpa, who has a beat-up old rim out on the garage. Skipper the dog barks like crazy when Gus plays, to the point where Grandpa turns off his hearing aid “so I can hear myself think.” Games, though, are a different matter. Gus can’t focus because of the crowd noise and in particular his father calling to him to “get free” and “rebound.” Gus is so flustered he never even gets a shot off. The season looks like a disaster until Grandpa shows up at the last game to show Gus a trick on how to turn off the noise—à la Skipper—and erase the competing stimuli. A cagey story, the kind born from the likes of a special relationship shared by Gus and Grandpa, and peacefully, protectively illustrated by Stock’s gentle watercolors. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2001

ISBN: 0-374-32818-8

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2001

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Patchy work, both visually and teleologically.

YOU'RE HERE FOR A REASON

The sultana of high-fructose sentimentality reminds readers that they really are all that.

Despite the title, we’re actually here for a couple of reasons. In fulsome if vague language Tillman embeds one message, that acts of kindness “may triple for days… / or set things in motion in different ways,” in a conceptually separate proposition that she summarizes thus: “perhaps you forgot— / a piece of the world that is precious and dear / would surely be missing if you weren’t here.” Her illustrations elaborate on both themes in equally abstract terms: a lad releases a red kite that ends up a sled for fox kits, while its ribbons add decorative touches to bird nests and a moose before finally being vigorously twirled by a girl and (startlingly) a pair of rearing tigers. Without transition the focus then shifts as the kite is abruptly replaced by a red ball. Both embodied metaphors, plus children and animals, gather at the end for a closing circle dance. The illustrator lavishes attention throughout on figures of children and wild animals, which are depicted with such microscopically precise realism that every fine hair and feather is visible, but she then floats them slightly above hazy, generic backdrops. The overall design likewise has a slapdash feel, as some spreads look relatively crowded with verses while others bear only a single line or phrase.

Patchy work, both visually and teleologically. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-05626-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

WAITING FOR BABY

One of a four-book series designed to help the very young prepare for new siblings, this title presents a toddler-and-mother pair (the latter heavily pregnant) as they read about new babies, sort hand-me-downs, buy new toys, visit the obstetrician and the sonographer, speculate and wait. Throughout, the child asks questions and makes exclamations with complete enthusiasm: “How big is the baby? What does it eat? I felt it move! Is it a boy or girl?” Fuller’s jolly pictures present a biracial family that thoroughly enjoys every moment together. It’s a bit oversimplified, but no one can complain about the positive message it conveys, appropriately, to its baby and toddler audience. The other titles in the New Baby series are My New Baby (ISBN: 978-1-84643-276-7), Look at Me! (ISBN: 978-1-84643-278-1) and You and Me (ISBN: 978-1-84643-277-4). (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-84643-275-0

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Child's Play

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2010

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more