BUMP IN THE NIGHT

Sporting an Elvis ’do and clutching his teddy bear, young Billy confronts his fears and finds that a bump in the night doesn’t have to be scary. At first glance, though, the blue monster that appears from his closet does have him a bit worried. But when said monster handily ties up a ghoulie, ghostie and long-legged beastie that have also appeared, Billy knows he is an ally and not an enemy. The two then set off on a dream adventure involving a pirate ship and plenty of pastries. When another bump from the closet turns out to be his dog, Billy settles down to sleep at last. Hemingway’s tongue-in-cheek text keeps the action moving along and adds a touch of humor. Quirky retro-style illustrations in shades of blue set the scene while full-page spreads alternate with vignettes; clever details, such as blocks that spell out different words according to the action, reward scrutiny. While the field is certainly crowded, it seems likely that this offbeat entry just may find an appreciative audience. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-399-24761-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2008

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ONE BEAN

PLB 0-8027-8649-9 The simple life cycle of a bean provides a practical and understandable example of scientific observation for budding young naturalists. Starting with a hand shown holding a single bean, readers journey full circle from soaking, planting, and watering, to flowering, harvesting, and eating. Uncluttered three-dimensional artwork complements the short, simple text; each stage of the bean’s transformation from seed to vegetable is shown in large scale, drawn so realistically that the texture of the skin seems to show the strain as the bean gets ready to put down roots. This is an ideal book for classrooms where students can’t resist the temptation to keep “checking” on their bean plants. (Picture book/nonfiction. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-8027-8648-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Walker

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1998

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TOO MANY TOYS

Spencer owns a multitude of toys: old toys and new ones, big toys and small ones, bath toys, wooden toys, board games, computer games, miniature cars and trucks, musical instruments, stuffed animals and action figures. They are everywhere, including on the floor where his parents can trip on them. One day, Spencer’s mom has had enough and announces that some of the toys have to go. Shaken, Spencer cries, “BUT I LOVE THEM ALL!” There’s no stopping Spencer’s mom, however, who says she will help and proves to be a worthy adversary when Spencer attempts to make deals. Snappy dialogue and an absolutely on-target understanding of the psyches of both mother and child make the negotiation scene absolutely priceless. Will they both make it through the harrowing task before them? The elaborate, child-friendly pictures perfectly capture Spencer’s world, zeroing in on the chaos with glee and then pulling back to demonstrate graphically the traumas suffered by both adults and child in the process. Shannon’s sardonic wit will strike a chord with parents and children alike. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-439-49029-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2008

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