WHERE’S PUP?

Keeping lines to four words or less but with vocabulary that will challenge emergent readers, Dodds (The Kettles Get New Clothes, 2002, etc.) sends a clown across circus grounds in search of an errant puppy. Using a bright red-orange color scheme with occasional flashes of deep blue, Pratt (No, No, Jack!, 2002, etc.) depicts the diminutive searcher questioning a succession of busy acrobats and animal tenders: “Hi there, Jess! Hi there, Bess! Where’s Pup?” “Can’t see. Go ask Lee. He’s launching Dee.” Finally the quest ends: “Can’t find Pup? Just look up”—at a page that unfolds . . . and unfolds . . . and unfolds again to reveal a human pyramid with the smiling stray at the very top. Fans of P.D. Eastman’s Are You My Mother? (1960), Eric Hill’s Where’s Spot? (1980), and a plethora of similar hide-and-seek variants will welcome this fresh addition to the genre, particularly for its crowd-pleasing climax. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-8037-2744-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2003

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A buoyant introduction to many different maritime pursuits.

BOATS WILL FLOAT

Many types of working and pleasure craft are depicted in this humorous, straightforward picture book.

Curzon’s vibrantly colored illustrations bubble with plenty of detail, enough to help children recognize different boat types they may encounter on a trip to the ocean or harbor. The storyline progresses more or less through the day in different marine locations, from early morning, when fishing boats are starting out and dragon boats are “flying by,” to a gentle nighttime sailing scene. The view changes as the boats change, cycling through rolling waves, a festive beach tableau, underwater scenes as studied by divers from a research vessel and the crew of a submarine before culminating in the family depicted in the opening illustration, going to bed in their houseboat. This family is white; the crews of the various boats include some people of color. Rosenbaum’s text consists of easy, rolling rhymes, with plenty of descriptive language to conjure up the scene: “Sunlight sizzles, hot and bright”; boats “rise and fall in liquid motion”; Salty breezes. / Seagulls squalling.” There’s plenty of engaging visual detail, including a spread in which the signal flag alphabet is shown and the flags on two boats spell out the book’s title.

A buoyant introduction to many different maritime pursuits. (picture glossary) (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-53411-041-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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Like a concerto for the heart.

DANCING HANDS

HOW TERESA CARREÑO PLAYED THE PIANO FOR PRESIDENT LINCOLN

Venezuelan pianist Teresa Carreño performs for President Abraham Lincoln amid a raging Civil War in Engle and López’s portrait of an artist.

Thanks to parental encouragement, Teresita learned about “all the beautiful / dark and light keys / of a piano” at an early age. By the age of 6, she composed original songs. Revolución in Venezuela soon drove an 8-year-old Teresa and her family to sail across the stormy sea to the United States, but the Carreño family arrived only to find another violent conflict—“the horrible Civil War”—in their adopted country. Despite the initial alienation that comes from being in an unfamiliar country, Teresita continued to improve and play “graceful waltzes and sonatas, / booming symphonies, and lively folk songs.” The Piano Girl’s reputation spread far, eventually garnering the attention of Lincoln, who invited the 10-year-old to perform at the White House! Yet the Civil War festered on, tormenting Teresita, who wished to alleviate the president’s burdens for at least one night. “How could music soothe / so much trouble?” Half biographical sketch, half wide-eyed tribute, Engle and López’s collaboration endearingly builds to Teresa’s fateful meeting with Lincoln like a gravitational pull, with bursts of compassion and admiration for both artist and public servant. Engle’s free verse whirls and twirls, playful and vivacious, while López’s vivid, colorful artwork elevates this story to heavenly heights.

Like a concerto for the heart. (historical note) (Informational picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4814-8740-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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