Change is hard, but for those learning to be patient, Albert is a good guide.

READ REVIEW

ALBERT STARTS SCHOOL

DAYS OF THE WEEK

From the Mouse Math series

The latest in the Mouse Math series both gets readers ready for the routines of school and hammers home the days of the week.

Albert is extremely excited about his first day of school. He is especially looking forward to paw painting, playing the piano, and feeding the class pet, all of which he’s heard about from his older sister, Wanda. So getting used to a fixed routine, when special activities take place on different days, is rather tough for him; Tuesday is art day, not Monday, and though he enjoys seeing a story told with puppets at library time, he still wants to paint. He gets to paint on Tuesday, but he can’t feed the fish whenever he wants—he has to wait for his turn, which is on Wednesday. And so it goes through the week, Albert always wishing he could do things whenever he wants to, as at home, but learning that school is different. But by Friday, Albert is showing a new student the ropes. Melmon’s bright, cheery cartoons are a nice introduction to the sights and activities of school, and almost every spread includes some visual display of the days of the week. Two pages of “Fun Activities” in the backmatter give adults ideas on how to extend the learning.

Change is hard, but for those learning to be patient, Albert is a good guide. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-157565-741-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kane Press

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2015

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It’s a bit hard to dance, or count, to this beat.

ONE MORE DINO ON THE FLOOR

Dinos that love to move and groove get children counting from one to 10—and perhaps moving to the beat.

Beginning with a solo bop by a female dino (she has eyelashes, doncha know), the dinosaur dance party begins. Each turn of the page adds another dino and a change in the dance genre: waltz, country line dancing, disco, limbo, square dancing, hip-hop, and swing. As the party would be incomplete without the moonwalk, the T. Rex does the honors…and once they are beyond their initial panic at his appearance, the onlookers cheer wildly. The repeated refrain on each spread allows for audience participation, though it doesn’t easily trip off the tongue: “They hear a swish. / What’s this? / One more? / One more dino on the floor.” Some of the prehistoric beasts are easily identifiable—pterodactyl, ankylosaurus, triceratops—but others will be known only to the dino-obsessed; none are identified, other than T-Rex. Packed spreads filled with psychedelically colored dinos sporting blocks of color, stripes, or polka dots (and infectious looks of joy) make identification even more difficult, to say nothing of counting them. Indeed, this fails as a counting primer: there are extra animals (and sometimes a grumpy T-Rex) in the backgrounds, and the next dino to join the party pokes its head into the frame on the page before. Besides all that, most kids won’t get the dance references.

It’s a bit hard to dance, or count, to this beat. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8075-1598-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2016

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For patient listeners, a fun visit to a mixed-up barnyard.

THE WIND PLAYS TRICKS

When a fierce wind descends on the barnyard, the animals hear some odd noises…and they’re coming from their own mouths.

The sudden wind unsettles all the animals on the farm just when they should be getting ready for sleep. Instead, they anxiously “cheep” and “cluck” and “oink” and “quack” and “moooo.” They shift nervously, pull together, and make all sorts of noises. All except Turtle, who tucks into his shell under an old log and sleeps. In the morning, though, the animals get a surprise. Pig says, “Cluck”; the Little Chicks say, “Neigh”; Horse crows, “Cock-a-doodle-doo.” How will they get their proper sounds back? Turtle has an idea, and he enjoys the process so much that he decides to open his mouth the next time the wind plays tricks at the farm: Perhaps he’ll catch a sound all his own. Chua’s cartoon barnyard is bright, and her animals, expressive, their faces and body language slightly anthropomorphized. The edges of the figures sometimes betray their digital origins. Though the tale is humorous and will give lots of opportunity for practicing animal sounds, the audience is hard to pin down, as the young children sure to enjoy mooing and clucking may not have the patience to sit through the somewhat lengthy text.

For patient listeners, a fun visit to a mixed-up barnyard. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8075-8735-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

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