As with the first, this just begs to be read aloud to a group of preschoolers, who won’t be able to help shouting out their...

READ REVIEW

BOO! HAIKU

In their second collaboration, Caswell and Shea use the same format as in their Guess Who, Haiku (2016) to ask readers to identify some common Halloween creatures.

Each turn of the page presents children with a new haiku and asks them to guess whom the poem is about: “broom across the moon / pointed hat at the window / hair-raising cackle.” A simple graphic in a circle on the page gives a visual clue (in this case, a black, pointy hat), but children will have to use their listening skills to identify the witch, revealed with the page turn. The witch then presents listeners with a new haiku. The other Halloween creatures include a bat, a skeleton, a jack-o’-lantern, a ghost, a black cat, a spider, an owl, a scarecrow, and “YOU!”—aka trick-or-treaters. Shea’s digital pictures are perfect for little listeners, with spare, bright backgrounds and just enough detail for identification. A final page explains the poetic form and what a syllable is.

As with the first, this just begs to be read aloud to a group of preschoolers, who won’t be able to help shouting out their answers. More please. (Picture book/poetry. 3-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 16, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2118-2

Page Count: 24

Publisher: abramsappleseed

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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A feast…at least for the eyes, and much better for the teeth.

BAKE A RAINBOW CAKE!

It’s all about the colors in this board-book version of the virally popular “rainbow explosion” cake.

The cake, which stars in many online videos and slide shows, is actually all about the sprinkles, evoked here with a combination of multihued spinners or sliders and hundreds of tiny holes punched into the sturdy cover and stock. Kassem, a New York City specialist baker, recaps its creation…without specific ingredients but step by step in the simplest language: “Pour it! / Mix it! // Color it!” The images are abstract enough that the result never really looks like food, but young digerati are unlikely to care as they’re directed to choose colors for each of the six layers, pull a tab to watch them rise in the oven, then see all but the top layer hollowed out before being stacked in rainbow order (sans indigo) and finally filled with a column of sprinkles that will pour out in a climactic rush (“Surprise!”) when the finished cake, its outside likewise sprinkle encrusted, is sliced. Chavarri’s simple illustrations flash with oversaturated hues, each succeeding double-page spread being somehow brighter than the last one, until the final uncomplicated pop-up unfolds in a grand shower of confetti and sprinkles. Budding chefs may find the recipe-based approach in Lotta Niemenen’s Cook in a Book series more to their taste, but for sheer energy and dazzle, this is hard to beat.

A feast…at least for the eyes, and much better for the teeth. (Board book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 25, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3746-6

Page Count: 10

Publisher: abramsappleseed

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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Young children will enjoy this very basic introduction to a Jewish holiday celebration.

AROUND THE PASSOVER TABLE

It’s a festive Passover Seder for two families.

“With fresh springtime flowers and once-a-year dishes, / Two candles stand straight / See our grand seder plate / At our table for this seder night.” A white father, black mother, and their two children join an all-white multigenerational family for the spring Jewish festival of Passover. The narrator, the young son of the hosting family, describes the cushions on the chairs, the wine/grape-juice glasses, the special foods, the water for washing hands and the water for dipping greens, the afikomen for hiding, and Elijah’s and Miriam’s cups for two very special guests. All this is related with the cheerful refrain: “At our table for this seder night.” Those who observe and those who are unfamiliar with the many steps of the Seder will enjoy the details tailored to a young audience—the family pets join in as the celebrants sing “Dayenu,” among other side business. Readers hoping for more background information on Elijah’s and Miriam’s cups will be disappointed, however. The digital illustrations are lively and spirited, featuring many smiling faces and kippot on the men and boys.

Young children will enjoy this very basic introduction to a Jewish holiday celebration. (author’s note, glossary) (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8075-0446-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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