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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THE BEST CHEF IN SECOND GRADE

An impending school visit by a celebrity chef sends budding cook Ollie into a tailspin. He and his classmates are supposed to bring a favorite family food for show and tell, but his family doesn’t have a clear choice—besides, his little sister Rosy doesn’t like much of anything. What to do? As in their previous two visits to Room 75, Kenah builds suspense while keeping the tone light, and Carter adds both bright notes of color and familiar home and school settings in her cartoon illustrations. Eventually, Ollie winkles favorite ingredients out of his clan, which he combines into a mac-and-cheese casserole with a face on top that draws delighted praise from the class’s renowned guest. As Ollie seems to do his kitchen work without parental assistance, a cautionary tip or two (and maybe a recipe) might not have gone amiss here, but the episode’s mouthwatering climax and resolution will guarantee smiles of contentment all around. (Easy reader. 6-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-06-053561-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2007

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RAIN SCHOOL

It takes a village to make a school. In Chad, big brothers and sisters lead the way for younger children on the first day of school. Little Thomas is full of questions. When he and the other children arrive, there are no classrooms and no desks. But the teacher's there, holding a trowel. "We will build our school," she declares. Everyone sets to work, making mud bricks that dry in the sun and a roof out of grass and saplings. Thomas loves his lessons; every day he learns something new. At the end of the school year, the minds of the students "are fat with knowledge." And just in time: The rainy season arrives and makes short work of the schoolhouse. Come September, they'll start all over. Rumford's illustrations make great use of color, dark brown skin and bright shirts, shorts and dresses against golden backgrounds, the hues applied in smudgy layers that infuse each scene with warmth—until the gray rains arrive. It's a nifty social-studies lesson tucked into a warm tale of community. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-547-24307-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 1, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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