SOMEDAY

What little girl (or boy) doesn’t fantasize about what the future may bring? Told in first-person voice and illustrated with contrasting double spreads, a girl imagines what she’ll do Someday, but Today, she is doing everyday things; i.e. “Someday I’ll ride a dolphin named Wilma who tells me secrets of the sea, but Today I’m feeding my pet goldfish named Pumpkin who doesn’t talk to me.” She dreams of discovering dinosaur bones (but today, her digging is under the sofa cushions for coins), being invited to the White House (instead she’s having lunch with her cousin who talks with his mouthfull) and winning a gymnastics gold medal at the Olympics (she’s really practicing cartwheels in her back yard). Collage art carries off the juxtaposed dreamy visions/ordinary routines and adds subtle touches like the white cat with black head, paws and tail that appears in every scene. The girl with her long blond braid, freckled cheeks, overbite and pierced ears looks innocently plucky. Charmingly depicted and child appealing, kids will respond to the subtle message that it’s okay to dream big. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-8037-2941-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2007

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NOT A BOX

Dedicated “to children everywhere sitting in cardboard boxes,” this elemental debut depicts a bunny with big, looping ears demonstrating to a rather thick, unseen questioner (“Are you still standing around in that box?”) that what might look like an ordinary carton is actually a race car, a mountain, a burning building, a spaceship or anything else the imagination might dream up. Portis pairs each question and increasingly emphatic response with a playscape of Crockett Johnson–style simplicity, digitally drawn with single red and black lines against generally pale color fields. Appropriately bound in brown paper, this makes its profound point more directly than such like-themed tales as Marisabina Russo’s Big Brown Box (2000) or Dana Kessimakis Smith’s Brave Spaceboy (2005). (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-112322-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2006

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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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