THIS ORQ. (HE #1)

From the Orq series

No. 1 cave boy loses his mojo and his reputation when a flashy new kid comes along.

Little Orq and his pet mastodon, Woma, are the pride of the cave community. Orq can throw far, climb high, and run fast. (He’s a tiny, redheaded, white lad in a one-shoulder outfit that looks made of grass.) Woma sleeps lots, eats tons, and loves plenty. They are No. 1. “Everybody think so.” That is, until Torq comes along, with his big gray pet, Slomo, who resembles a giant sloth. Torq throws farther, climbs higher, and runs…“you get picture.” Torq becomes the new No. 1. Everybody thinks so, especially Torq himself. Orq’s mother tells him not to worry, but her advice falls on deaf ears. One day, Torq decides to climb a high mountain, far away from his home cave. Orq naturally follows, along with Slomo and Woma. The reckless Torq takes a tumble, hurting his ankle very badly. Orq springs into action, making a platform out of tropical tree trunks and then inventing the wheel to make a cart Woma can pull. Orq and Woma are No. 1 again. “Everybody think so.” Especially Torq, whom readers see zooming by in a cool, newly invented wheelchair. Elliott’s hilarious, clipped prose is the star of his third Orq adventure. Nichols’ pencil illustrations are drolly in tune, though they depict an all-white prehistoric society.

Formulaic but funny. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62979-336-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Skip this well-meaning but poorly executed celebration.

I LOVE DADDY EVERY DAY

Children point out the things they love about their fathers.

“Daddy is always kind. He gives us support and shelter when things go wrong.” A child with a skinned knee (and downed ice cream cone) gets a bandage and loving pat from Daddy (no shelter is visible, but the child’s concerned sibling sweetly extends their own cone). Daddy’s a storyteller, a magician, supportive, loyal, silly, patient, and he knows everything. A die-cut hole pierces most pages, positioned so that the increasingly smaller holes to come can be seen through it; what it represents in each scene varies, and it does so with also-variable success. The bland, nonrhyming, inconsistent text does little to attract or keep attention, though the die cuts might (until they fall victim to curious fingers). The text also confusingly mixes first-person singular and plural, sometimes on the same page: “Daddy is like a gardener. He lovingly cares for us and watches us grow. I’m his pride and joy!” Even as the text mixes number the illustrations mix metaphors. This particular gardener daddy is pictured shampooing a child during bathtime. Más’ cartoon illustrations are sweet if murkily interpretive, affection clearly conveyed. Troublingly, though, each father and his child(ren) seem to share the same racial presentation and hair color (sometimes even hairstyle!), shutting out many different family constellations. Más does, however, portray several disabilities: children and adults wearing glasses, a child with a cochlear implant, and another using a wheelchair.

Skip this well-meaning but poorly executed celebration. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 24, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12305-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Rodale Kids

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

It’s a bit hard to dance, or count, to this beat.

ONE MORE DINO ON THE FLOOR

Dinos that love to move and groove get children counting from one to 10—and perhaps moving to the beat.

Beginning with a solo bop by a female dino (she has eyelashes, doncha know), the dinosaur dance party begins. Each turn of the page adds another dino and a change in the dance genre: waltz, country line dancing, disco, limbo, square dancing, hip-hop, and swing. As the party would be incomplete without the moonwalk, the T. Rex does the honors…and once they are beyond their initial panic at his appearance, the onlookers cheer wildly. The repeated refrain on each spread allows for audience participation, though it doesn’t easily trip off the tongue: “They hear a swish. / What’s this? / One more? / One more dino on the floor.” Some of the prehistoric beasts are easily identifiable—pterodactyl, ankylosaurus, triceratops—but others will be known only to the dino-obsessed; none are identified, other than T-Rex. Packed spreads filled with psychedelically colored dinos sporting blocks of color, stripes, or polka dots (and infectious looks of joy) make identification even more difficult, to say nothing of counting them. Indeed, this fails as a counting primer: there are extra animals (and sometimes a grumpy T-Rex) in the backgrounds, and the next dino to join the party pokes its head into the frame on the page before. Besides all that, most kids won’t get the dance references.

It’s a bit hard to dance, or count, to this beat. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8075-1598-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more