WHERE ONCE THERE WAS A WOOD

Already a favorite of preschoolers, Fleming (In the Small, Small Pond, 1993, etc.) takes an appreciation of the natural world a giant step further. Rhythmic verse—``Where once there was a wood/a meadow/and a creek . . . sit houses side by side/twenty houses deep''—demonstrates that there was another sort of community before people arrived, ``where once the brown snake/slithered and slipped out of sight.'' An ecology lesson it surely is, but it's also a celebration of the earth and its creatures. Illustrations in vivid jewel-and-earth tones appear on handmade paper; the woods, creeks, and meadows are clean and inviting, and, bringing balance to the presentation, the new houses are not without their charms. The lively back matter, titled ``Welcome Wildlife to Your Backyard Habitat,'' offers substantial, easily executed suggestions for encouraging wildlife around the home; it's information just right for family and classroom sharing. Perfect for Earth Day observances, a book that's as welcome as spring. (bibliography) (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8050-3761-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1996

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JOHNNY APPLESEED

Though she never says outright that he was a real person, Kurtz introduces newly emergent readers to the historical John Chapman, walking along the Ohio, planting apple seeds, and bartering seedlings to settlers for food and clothing. Haverfield supplies the legendary portions of his tale, with views of a smiling, stylishly ragged, clean-shaven young man, pot on head, wildlife on shoulder or trailing along behind. Kurtz caps her short, rhythmic text with an invitation to “Clap your hands for Johnny Chapman. / Clap your hands for Johnny Appleseed!” An appealing way to open discussions of our country’s historical or legendary past. (Easy reader/nonfiction. 5-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-689-85958-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2004

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SAY HELLO!

Today Carmelita visits her Abuela Rosa, but to get there she must walk. Down Ninth Avenue she strolls with her mother and dog. Colorful shops and congenial neighbors greet them along the way, and at each stop Carmelita says hello—in Spanish, Arabic, Hebrew and more. With a friendly “Jambo” for Joseph, a “Bonjour” at the bakery and an affectionate “Hey” for Max and Angel, the pig-tailed girl happily exercises her burgeoning multilingual skills. Her world is a vibrant community, where neighborliness, camaraderie and culture are celebrated. Isadora’s collaged artwork, reminiscent of Ezra Jack Keats, contains lovely edges and imperfections, which abet the feeling of an urban environment. Skillfully, she draws with her scissors, the cut-paper elements acting as her line work. Everything has a texture and surface, and with almost no solid colors, the city street is realized as a real, organic place. Readers will fall for the sociable Carmelita as they proudly learn a range of salutations, and the artist’s rich environment, packed with hidden details and charming animals, will delight readers with each return visit. Simply enchanting. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-399-25230-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2010

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