Nature and art intertwine in this multifaceted homage to the beauty and creativity that surrounds and resides within each of...

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MY FOREST IS GREEN

A child narrator, created from cut paper and paints, introduces readers to the beauty of life’s “forest,” both figuratively and literally.

From the balcony of a high-rise apartment, the child can see the top of the urban forest nearby. However, there’s also an indoor forest, one made of the child’s own artwork depicting all the wondrous things found in nature. A double-page spread that reads “My forest is crispy…and soft” depicts the child scuffing through fall leaves and gazing at a mossy spot in borderless horizontal panels on verso, while on recto those leaves are taped into collage images and replicated with sponge paints in corresponding panels. The child’s forest has many facets: It is “tall,” it is “short”; it is “fluffy…prickly [and] rough.” Every page introduces many characteristics that define the child’s world, and each is paired with both encounters with flora and fauna and creative use of varying art media to capture their essence. Colorful multimedia spreads convey the joy of discovery and model the different ways art can be used to express colors, textures, and feelings. Simple text offering a plethora of adjectives, some surprising (“dangling yellow, tiptoe gray, peekaboo purple”), and illustrations that are simultaneously complex and accessible make this a book to enjoy on many levels. The child has beige skin and straight, black hair, as do mom and a baby sibling.

Nature and art intertwine in this multifaceted homage to the beauty and creativity that surrounds and resides within each of us . (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-77138-930-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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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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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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