When the day is just waiting be filled with fun, one of the “things to do” may well be to share this with some children.

THINGS TO DO

In rhyming text, a child imagines the furtive joys of a range of anthropomorphized concepts and objects.

“Things to do if you are DAWN / shoo away night. / Wash the eastern sky with light. / Wake the sleeping sun: / Rise and shine!” After pecking for breakfast on the lawn, a bird might stretch its wings “on the brightening sky.” Magliaro’s approach is poetic but not particularly systematic, although that makes it winningly childlike. The series of “if you are”s also includes an acorn, a honeybee, a snail, the sun, the sky, an eraser, a pair of scissors, rain, boots, an orb spider, crickets, and the moon. The poetry is graceful, with key words set in uppercase and descriptors in varying typefaces evoking the moods. Chien’s brushy-textured acrylic illustrations convey the breezy feelings that make the musings soar, employing diaphanous layers that lend a fuzzy, dreamlike feel. Effective page compositions vary perspectives to make the images sway in the breeze. The orb spider spread, with the light-skinned dreamer’s face behind a web, is aesthetically striking. Wearing a hat and pants, the child is not identified as a girl, but the patterned endpapers depicting a child in a dress imply gender. A sidekick dog adds another touch of whimsy.

When the day is just waiting be filled with fun, one of the “things to do” may well be to share this with some children. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4521-1124-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

PIRATES DON'T TAKE BATHS

Echoes of Runaway Bunny color this exchange between a bath-averse piglet and his patient mother. Using a strategy that would probably be a nonstarter in real life, the mother deflects her stubborn offspring’s string of bath-free occupational conceits with appeals to reason: “Pirates NEVER EVER take baths!” “Pirates don’t get seasick either. But you do.” “Yeesh. I’m an astronaut, okay?” “Well, it is hard to bathe in zero gravity. It’s hard to poop and pee in zero gravity too!” And so on, until Mom’s enticing promise of treasure in the deep sea persuades her little Treasure Hunter to take a dive. Chunky figures surrounded by lots of bright white space in Segal’s minimally detailed watercolors keep the visuals as simple as the plotline. The language isn’t quite as basic, though, and as it rendered entirely in dialogue—Mother Pig’s lines are italicized—adult readers will have to work hard at their vocal characterizations for it to make any sense. Moreover, younger audiences (any audiences, come to that) may wonder what the piggy’s watery closing “EUREKA!!!” is all about too. Not particularly persuasive, but this might coax a few young porkers to get their trotters into the tub. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25425-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more