Double the fun for storytime or math lessons.

TWINDERELLA

A FRACTIONED FAIRY TALE

A light, rhyming story imagines if Cinderella had a lesser-known twin sister.

Schwartz, author of Ninja Red Riding Hood (illustrated by Dan Santat, 2014) and Goldi Rocks and the Three Bears (illustrated by Nate Wragg, 2014), knows how to spin a fractured fairy tale. Touting itself as a “fractioned fairy tale,” however, this take on “Cinderella” proclaims that readers familiar only with the original story “don’t know the half of it!” Breezy, pun-filled rhymes introduce Cinderella’s twin, Tinderella, who uses math to divide their wicked stepmother’s chore list in half. The fraction theme continues as the girls divide and conquer tending to the mean stepsisters, splitting meager meals, and sharing a bed. And when Prince Charming announces a ball to find himself a bride and their fairy godmother comes to their rescue, the twins know how to divide the trinkets and coach in half. Vibrant, digitally enhanced illustrations rendered in ink, gouache, and watercolor capture all the merriment until, just as in the original tale, one smitten prince is left with one shoe. Since a prince can’t be divided, Tinderella, ever the mathematician, asks the fairy godmother to double him. A fitting ending explains how Cinderella and her prince became famous and wound up on the throne while Tinderella and her prince won the kingdom’s math awards and kept fractions flourishing with baby quadruplets. With the possible exception of some dark faces in crowd scenes, the cast is an all-white one.

Double the fun for storytime or math lessons. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-399-17633-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: June 14, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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A comical, fresh look at crayons and color

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THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT

Duncan wants to draw, but instead of crayons, he finds a stack of letters listing the crayons’ demands in this humorous tale.

Red is overworked, laboring even on holidays. Gray is exhausted from coloring expansive spaces (elephants, rhinos and whales). Black wants to be considered a color-in color, and Peach? He’s naked without his wrapper! This anthropomorphized lot amicably requests workplace changes in hand-lettered writing, explaining their work stoppage to a surprised Duncan. Some are tired, others underutilized, while a few want official titles. With a little creativity and a lot of color, Duncan saves the day. Jeffers delivers energetic and playful illustrations, done in pencil, paint and crayon. The drawings are loose and lively, and with few lines, he makes his characters effectively emote. Clever spreads, such as Duncan’s “white cat in the snow” perfectly capture the crayons’ conundrum, and photographic representations of both the letters and coloring pages offer another layer of texture, lending to the tale’s overall believability.

A comical, fresh look at crayons and color . (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-399-25537-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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