TAP TAP BOOM BOOM

Cuddle up for a rainy-day adventure.

A sudden thunderstorm inspires an impromptu gathering of congenial strangers.

It all begins with darkening skies and a few drops of rain. Out come the umbrellas as the thunder roars, the wind swirls, and the rain comes pouring down. People make a run for it to the shelter of the subway. There are lots of smiles and laughter and sharing—a brief communal moment—and then it’s over, and everyone disperses to see a rainbow: “[s]urprise in sky.” Bluemle employs bouncy, fast-paced rhymes and rhythms with words that emphasize sound and movement. The title phrase repeats throughout, augmented by “slam bang” and with an additional “crackle” to indicate lightning as the storm intensifies. The text, appropriately varied in size and boldness to match the storm’s activity, moves across mostly double-paged spreads and intermingles with the illustrations. Karas, perhaps influenced by Mo Willems’ Knuffle Bunny, sets gouache and pencil drawings within collages of photographs of New York City. Backgrounds appear subtly rain-washed or as faded sepia photos of buildings. Blacks, grays and earth tones are highlighted with taxi-yellow and occasional pops of orange, red and green. The ethnically diverse characters are animated as they head for the subway stairs, and there are delightful details to elicit giggles from young readers.

Cuddle up for a rainy-day adventure. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 25, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-7636-5696-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2014

I'LL LOVE YOU FOREVER

Parent-child love and affection, appealingly presented, with the added attraction of the seasonal content and lack of gender...

A polar-bear parent speaks poetically of love for a child.

A genderless adult and cub travel through the landscapes of an arctic year. Each of the softly rendered double-page paintings has a very different feel and color palette as the pair go through the seasons, walking through wintry ice and snow and green summer meadows, cavorting in the blue ocean, watching whales, and playing beside musk oxen. The rhymes of the four-line stanzas are not forced, as is the case too often in picture books of this type: “When cold, winter winds / blow the leaves far and wide, / You’ll cross the great icebergs / with me by your side.” On a dark, snowy night, the loving parent says: “But for now, cuddle close / while the stars softly shine. // I’ll always be yours, / and you’ll always be mine.” As the last illustration shows the pair curled up for sleep, young listeners will be lulled to sweet dreams by the calm tenor of the pictures and the words. While far from original, this timeless theme is always in demand, and the combination of delightful illustrations and poetry that scans well make this a good choice for early-childhood classrooms, public libraries, and one-on-one home read-alouds.

Parent-child love and affection, appealingly presented, with the added attraction of the seasonal content and lack of gender restrictions. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-68010-070-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

MAMA BUILT A LITTLE NEST

A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.

Echoing the meter of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” Ward uses catchy original rhymes to describe the variety of nests birds create.

Each sweet stanza is complemented by a factual, engaging description of the nesting habits of each bird. Some of the notes are intriguing, such as the fact that the hummingbird uses flexible spider web to construct its cup-shaped nest so the nest will stretch as the chicks grow. An especially endearing nesting behavior is that of the emperor penguin, who, with unbelievable patience, incubates the egg between his tummy and his feet for up to 60 days. The author clearly feels a mission to impart her extensive knowledge of birds and bird behavior to the very young, and she’s found an appealing and attractive way to accomplish this. The simple rhymes on the left page of each spread, written from the young bird’s perspective, will appeal to younger children, and the notes on the right-hand page of each spread provide more complex factual information that will help parents answer further questions and satisfy the curiosity of older children. Jenkins’ accomplished collage illustrations of common bird species—woodpecker, hummingbird, cowbird, emperor penguin, eagle, owl, wren—as well as exotics, such as flamingoes and hornbills, are characteristically naturalistic and accurate in detail.

A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.   (author’s note, further resources) (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2116-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2014

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