Written entirely in the form of a checklist, this is the morning routine of one overly enthusiastic and fiercely independent...

EDDIE GETS READY FOR SCHOOL

That age-old struggle of getting kids off to school in the morning goes to new extremes in this howler from Milgrim.

Written entirely in the form of a checklist, this is the morning routine of one overly enthusiastic and fiercely independent little boy. The wake-up call he gives his parents is by megaphone, their limbs and pillows flying under the assault. Next he tackles breakfast and feeding the dog, both of which are accomplished with an entire box of cereal. His next three tasks—get dressed (cape, no shirt, pajama bottoms, helmet made of underwear), watch cartoons and drink root beer—are amended by his hands-on-hips mother: “Turn off TV this instant / Pour out root beer / Really get dressed.” And those are not the only things she vetoes—the cat cannot go to show-and-tell…nor can the dog, the fish, the bird or the television. Throughout it all, though, the irrepressible Eddie keeps his delightful smile and his winning attitude. As he waves from the bus, his final item is checked off: “Give myself 3 cheers! I did it!” Milgrim’s hysterical illustrations tell the bulk of the story. The bright colors and simple outlines and backgrounds make the humorous details stand out all the more.

Pub Date: July 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-545-27329-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2011

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Clever verse coupled with bold primary-colored images is sure to attract and hone the attention of fun-seeking children...

TOYS GALORE

A fizzy yet revealing romp through the toy world.

Though of standard picture-book size, Stein and illustrator Staake’s latest collaboration (Bugs Galore, 2012, etc.) presents a sweeping compendium of diversions for the young. From fairies and gnomes, race cars and jacks, tin cans and socks, to pots ’n’ pans and a cardboard box, Stein combs the toy kingdom for equally thrilling sources of fun. These light, tightly rhymed quatrains focus nicely on the functions characterizing various objects, such as “Floaty, bubbly, / while-you-wash toys” or “Sharing-secrets- / with-tin-cans toys,” rather than flatly stating their names. Such ambiguity at once offers Staake free artistic rein to depict copious items capable of performing those tasks and provides pre-readers ample freedom to draw from the experiences of their own toy chests as they scan Staake’s vibrant spreads brimming with chunky, digitally rendered objects and children at play. The sense of community and sharing suggested by most of the spreads contributes well to Stein’s ultimate theme, which he frames by asking: “But which toy is / the best toy ever? / The one most fun? / Most cool and clever?” Faced with three concluding pages filled with all sorts of indoor and outside toys to choose from, youngsters may be shocked to learn, on turning to the final spread, that the greatest one of all—“a toy SENSATION!”—proves to be “[y]our very own / imagination.”

Clever verse coupled with bold primary-colored images is sure to attract and hone the attention of fun-seeking children everywhere. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6254-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2013

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Very young gardeners will need more information, but for certain picky eaters, the suggested strategy just might work.

SYLVIA'S SPINACH

A young spinach hater becomes a spinach lover after she has to grow her own in a class garden.

Unable to trade away the seed packet she gets from her teacher for tomatoes, cukes or anything else more palatable, Sylvia reluctantly plants and nurtures a pot of the despised veggie then transplants it outside in early spring. By the end of school, only the plot’s lettuce, radishes and spinach are actually ready to eat (talk about a badly designed class project!)—and Sylvia, once she nerves herself to take a nibble, discovers that the stuff is “not bad.” She brings home an armful and enjoys it from then on in every dish: “And that was the summer Sylvia Spivens said yes to spinach.” Raff uses unlined brushwork to give her simple cartoon illustrations a pleasantly freehand, airy look, and though Pryor skips over the (literally, for spinach) gritty details in both the story and an afterword, she does cover gardening basics in a simple and encouraging way.

Very young gardeners will need more information, but for certain picky eaters, the suggested strategy just might work. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-9836615-1-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Readers to Eaters

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2012

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