Quite a treat! (Picture book. 3-7)

READ REVIEW

HUNTERS OF THE GREAT FOREST

An intrepid band conquers a rugged landscape to capture an unusually tasty conquest in this funny, wordless story.

As they bid their families farewell, the seven hunters—two are women—carry assorted, important-looking objects: a map, spear, rucksack and more. The gallant troupe scales cliffs and clambers over enormous tree roots. They begin to encounter flora and fauna so huge that readers’ perceptions shift—these folk are teeny. Dwarfed by a towering toad, angry mama bird and snarling chipmunk, the tiny hunters startle and run, losing possessions one after the other. Finally, they tiptoe into a shadowy cave and spy their surprising “prey.” A girl, her face illuminated by a campfire’s glow, toasts a marshmallow, a brimming bag of the treats nearby. It takes four hunters to wrangle their single, sweet prize home; a fifth wards off crafty ants. Nolan’s watercolor, ink and colored-pencil illustrations employ dizzying perspective and a lovely palette in tints of ochre, blue and lavender. While the animals are portrayed realistically, the little hunters might be described as “Palmer Cox’s Brownies meet R. Crumb’s Mr. Natural.” Sporting wild hair (topknots, long braids, bushy mustaches and beards), their faces—with identical round-dot eyes, pendulous noses and undrawn mouths—are impassive throughout. Their roundish, thin-limbed bodies convey the story as they scamper home for the village’s own marshmallow toast.

Quite a treat! (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-59643-896-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Neal Porter/Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Whimsy, intelligence, and a subtle narrative thread make this rise to the top of a growing list of self-love titles.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

YOU MATTER

Employing a cast of diverse children reminiscent of that depicted in Another (2019), Robinson shows that every living entity has value.

After opening endpapers that depict an aerial view of a busy playground, the perspective shifts to a black child, ponytails tied with beaded elastics, peering into a microscope. So begins an exercise in perspective. From those bits of green life under the lens readers move to “Those who swim with the tide / and those who don’t.” They observe a “pest”—a mosquito biting a dinosaur, a “really gassy” planet, and a dog whose walker—a child in a pink hijab—has lost hold of the leash. Periodically, the examples are validated with the titular refrain. Textured paint strokes and collage elements contrast with uncluttered backgrounds that move from white to black to white. The black pages in the middle portion foreground scenes in space, including a black astronaut viewing Earth; the astronaut is holding an image of another black youngster who appears on the next spread flying a toy rocket and looking lonely. There are many such visual connections, creating emotional interest and invitations for conversation. The story’s conclusion spins full circle, repeating opening sentences with new scenarios. From the microscopic to the cosmic, word and image illuminate the message without a whiff of didacticism.

Whimsy, intelligence, and a subtle narrative thread make this rise to the top of a growing list of self-love titles. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-2169-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A treat to be savored—and a lesson learned—any time of year.

LOVE MONSTER AND THE LAST CHOCOLATE

From the Love Monster series

The surprised recipient of a box of chocolates agonizes over whether to eat the whole box himself or share with his friends.

Love Monster is a chocoholic, so when he discovers the box on his doorstep, his mouth waters just thinking about what might be inside; his favorite’s a double chocolate strawberry swirl. The brief thought that he should share these treats with his friends is easily rationalized away. Maybe there won’t be enough for everyone, perhaps someone will eat his favorite, or, even worse, leave him with his least favorite: the coffee one! Bright’s pacing and tone are on target throughout, her words conveying to readers exactly what the monster is thinking and feeling: “So he went into his house. And so did the box of chocolates…without a whisper of a word to anyone.” This is followed by a “queasy-squeezy” feeling akin to guilt and then by a full-tilt run to his friends, chocolates in hand, and a breathless, stream-of-consciousness confession, only to be brought up short by what’s actually in the box. And the moral is just right: “You see, sometimes it’s when you stop to think of others…that you start to find out just how much they think of you.” Monster’s wide eyes and toothy mouth convey his emotions wonderfully, and the simple backgrounds keep the focus on his struggle.

A treat to be savored—and a lesson learned—any time of year. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-00-754030-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more