A beautifully illustrated, peaceful song of family, community, and new birth. (Picture book. 3-7)

READ REVIEW

GREEN ON GREEN

A celebration of colors through a full cycle of the seasons.

This rhyming, lyrical story opens with a blue-eyed, dark-skinned mother and child enjoying the yellow flowers in a grassy green meadow with the father riding horseback nearby and a lighthouse on the coast in the background. The text accompanying each seasonal sequence includes a refrain that focuses on the colors: “yellow on green” for springtime. The rhythmic text practically sings of the shifting seasons, as spring turns to summer, summer to fall, and so on, while the matte illustrations reveal the child’s curiosity, the family’s bonds, and the mother’s growing roundness as they all prepare for the birth of a baby. A summer trip to the beach brings “turquoise, teal, and blue on green”; “toasty and warm” “cinnamon, almond, and brown on green” abound in fall; winter comes with “gray and taupe and white on green”; and spring sees the addition of a new family member. Since every season includes green, it remains a touchpoint and a refrain throughout. Insects and animals, including the family dog, show up on most pages, giving detail-oriented readers lots to explore. Sala’s intentional inclusion of diversity in this rural community, as folks gather for activities and events, offers mirrors for many kinds of readers and emphasizes the richness of cross-cultural sharing.

A beautifully illustrated, peaceful song of family, community, and new birth. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4814-6278-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Nov. 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

For readers who haven’t a musk ox of their own to snuggle up with, this tale proves just as cozy.

COZY

An agreeable Alaskan musk ox embodies that old Ben Franklin adage, “Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.”

When Cozy the ox is separated from his herd in the midst of a winter storm, he decides to wait it out. His massive size and warmth attract small animals—a lemming family and a snowshoe hare—desperate to escape the cold. However, as bigger, predatory creatures arrive, Cozy must lay down some “house rules” that grow with each new creature that arrives until they extend to: “Quiet voices, gentle thumping, claws to yourself, no biting, no pouncing, and be mindful of others!” Over time, the guests grow antsy, but at last spring arrives and Cozy can find his family. The tale is not dissimilar to another Jan Brett tale of cold weather and animals squeezing into a small space (The Mitten, 1989). Meticulous watercolors refrain from anthropomorphizing, rendering everyone, from massive Cozy to the tiniest of lemmings, in exquisite detail. This moving tale of gentle kindness serves as a clarion call for anyone searching for a book about creating your own community in times of trial. Brett even includes little details about real musk oxen in the text (such as their tendency to form protective circles to surround their vulnerable young), but readers hoping for further information in any backmatter will be disappointed. (This book was reviewed digitally with 8.4-by-20.6-inch double-page spreads viewed at 37.3% of actual size.)

For readers who haven’t a musk ox of their own to snuggle up with, this tale proves just as cozy. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-10979-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A comical, fresh look at crayons and color

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT

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 15, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

more