Share this one with kids who have very particular tastes.

TEDDY SPAGHETTI

On his first day of school, a boy uses his favorite thing in the world to make new friends.

Teddy loves three things: his red cape, his yellow rain boots, and spaghetti, which he could eat all day. Teddy isn’t exactly finicky; he likes “spaghetti with red sauce and meatballs…with white sauce with clams…or even with eggs and bacon!” But today the ordinarily happy kid is feeling a bit unnerved: It’s his first day of school. Mom encourages him to just be himself, and by doing so, he quickly gains new friends. But at lunch, the school bully approaches, hurling the titular epithet. Teddy freezes, but his new friends don’t; they are full of compliments for Teddy’s warm, fabulous spaghetti lunch. Teddy invites them to dig in—there’s plenty. And when Bryan the bully asks in a whisper if he might have some, Teddy even shares with him and tells him he loves his new nickname. In Andriani’s cartoon illustrations, the expressive faces and, appropriately, the spaghetti are especial delights. Teddy and his mother have light skin; his classroom is diverse. This mother-daughter collaboration is sweet but slight and unrealistic. With food allergies on the rise, many schools have banned food sharing, and the ease with which the kids deal with the bully is unbelievable. Moreover, while food-shaming is a depressingly common phenomenon, it is rarely the white kid with spaghetti and marinara sauce who is the target.

Share this one with kids who have very particular tastes. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: May 12, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-291542-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Whether they’re counting scores of peas, enjoying the rhymes and puns or relishing the funny visual quirks, families are...

1-2-3 PEAS

After an alphabetical, rhyming tour de force (LMNO Peas, 2010), Baker’s energetic pea pack is back—this time, to count by ones and 10s.

Baker sidesteps the trickiness of rhyming the numerals by selecting a repeating word for each short verse. “ONE pea searching—look, look, look, / TWO peas fishing—hook, hook, hook.” Those numerals rise sky-high (to peas, at least) to dominate the digitally composed visuals, often serving as props for the frenzy of vegetative activity. At “TEN peas building—pound, pound, pound,” the peas erect a wooden platform around the numeral—mainly, it would seem, as an excuse for exuberantly hammering dozens of nails. Baker circumvents those oft-pesky ’teens in one deft double-page spread: “Eleven to nineteen—skip, skip, skip!” Then it’s a double-page spread per decade, with peas traveling, napping, watching fireworks and more. “SEVENTY peas singing” provide a bevy of details to spy: A fab foursome (the Peatles) rocks out above a chorus and director. Nearby, a barbershop quartet, a Wagnerian soloist, a showering pea and a dancing “Peayoncé” add to the fun. 

Whether they’re counting scores of peas, enjoying the rhymes and puns or relishing the funny visual quirks, families are sure to devour Baker’s latest winner. Totally ap-pea-ling! (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: July 24, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4424-4551-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 30, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Don’ts and Do’s in a familiar formula go down easily for fans and will provide a good conversation starter for parents.

HOW DO DINOSAURS STAY SAFE?

From the How Do Dinosaurs…? series

Officer Buckle had Gloria, his police canine, to help his audience see the value of his safety lessons; Yolen and Teague have their dinos.

Addressing such perennial topics as jumping on the bed, climbing too high and stair safety, Yolen and Teague first present the dinos doing the wrong things, their faces plainly showing that they are surprised and scared by the world of hurt about to come their ways while caring (and dwarfed) loved ones freak out in the backgrounds. “Does he climb up too high? // Or jump on his bed? // Does he race on his bike with no helmet on head?” (Scansion is a bit of an issue.) Of course not! And though the text says that it will tell readers why, it doesn’t, instead just explaining what the dinos do to stay safe. Among other things, Cearadactylus holds Mama’s hand and crosses with the light, Majungasaurus swims where his papa can see him, Agustinia wears his bike helmet, and Concavenator brings water to drink on long hikes. As in previous outings, Teague’s artwork steals the show, the realism of the scenes and human figures juxtaposed with the giant, though childish, dinos. Labels in the illustrations and endpapers will help dino mavens identify their favorites.

Don’ts and Do’s in a familiar formula go down easily for fans and will provide a good conversation starter for parents. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 24, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-439-24104-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more