SIXTEEN RUNAWAY PUMPKINS

A rollicking rhyming tale—part math, part problem-solving—stars a young raccoon who must figure out what to do with 16 pumpkins that don’t sit still. It’s time to gather in the harvest on Gramps’s farm, and Sam is just the girl raccoon to take on the job. Setting out with her wagon, she finds the pumpkins under vines and leaves and slowly doubles her load from one to two, until she has gathered 16. But on the way back to the house, the rickety wagon tips over and they become “the hill-rolling, bowling ball kind” of pumpkins. She chases after them, but has no luck in catching them except for the four that roll through Gramps’s open front door and smash on the floor. What will they do with them? Pie, of course. Lanquetin’s illustrations are charming and give young readers a chance to seek small details, such as the incensed mouse whose home had been one of the picked pumpkins. A cute opener for autumn and a nice bridge across science and math for elementary-school teachers. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-689-85090-5

Page Count: 24

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2004

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ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT

A comical, fresh look at crayons and color

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Duncan wants to draw, but instead of crayons, he finds a stack of letters listing the crayons’ demands in this humorous tale.

Red is overworked, laboring even on holidays. Gray is exhausted from coloring expansive spaces (elephants, rhinos and whales). Black wants to be considered a color-in color, and Peach? He’s naked without his wrapper! This anthropomorphized lot amicably requests workplace changes in hand-lettered writing, explaining their work stoppage to a surprised Duncan. Some are tired, others underutilized, while a few want official titles. With a little creativity and a lot of color, Duncan saves the day. Jeffers delivers energetic and playful illustrations, done in pencil, paint and crayon. The drawings are loose and lively, and with few lines, he makes his characters effectively emote. Clever spreads, such as Duncan’s “white cat in the snow” perfectly capture the crayons’ conundrum, and photographic representations of both the letters and coloring pages offer another layer of texture, lending to the tale’s overall believability.

A comical, fresh look at crayons and color . (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-399-25537-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

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