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

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

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A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

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BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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A TREE IS NICE

A nursery school approach to a general concept. "A tree is nice"- Why? Because..."We can climb the tree...play pirate ship...pick the apples...build playhouses out of the leaves. A tree is nice to hang a swing in...Birds build nests in trees... Sticks come off trees...People have picnics there too"...etc. etc. One follows the give and take of a shared succession of reactions to what a tree- or trees- can mean. There is a kind of poetic simplicity that is innate in small children. Marc Simont has made the pictures, half in full color, and they too have a childlike directness (with an underlying sophistication that adults will recognize). Not a book for everyone -but those who like it will like it immensely. The format (6 x 11) makes it a difficult book for shelving, so put it in the "clean hands" section of flat books. Here's your first book for Arbor Day use- a good spring and summer item.

Pub Date: June 15, 1956

ISBN: 978-0-06-443147-7

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Harper

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1956

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