A delightful blend of fact and fiction.

ZEE GROWS A TREE

A little girl and a Douglas fir grow together on a Christmas tree farm.

On the day of Zee’s birth, a Douglas-fir seedling, planted by her parents, also sprouts. Zee’s parents take care of Zee and her tree, and both “[grow] bigger and stronger.” When Zee starts preschool, her tree is transplanted outdoors. As Zee makes new friends and learns the alphabet, her tree experiences new animals and changing weather. On her fourth birthday, Zee is shorter than her classmates and her tree is shorter than other trees, but that summer both have growth spurts. When Zee starts kindergarten, she “[gets] a whole new look,” and her tree is pruned into a “perfect cone shape.” And on it goes, Rusch’s gentle text describing her protagonists’ parallel growth. Zee’s education continues in first grade, and her tree learns “how to turn a branch into a new treetop.” Zee’s adult teeth grow in, and her tree sprouts new branches. During a spring and summer drought, Zee, now old enough to take part in its care, faithfully waters her parched tree, going on to mulch it in fall and screen it in winter. By Zee’s eighth birthday, her tree is old and tall enough to be a Christmas tree. Informative factual text about Douglas firs and their care accompanies each stage of Zee’s and her tree’s parallel growth while gentle, realistic illustrations, rendered in soft color washes, visually chronicle their emerging relationship. Zee and her parents present White.

A delightful blend of fact and fiction. (index, author's note, bibliography) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9754-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Nov. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Earnest and silly by turns, it doesn’t quite capture the attention or the imagination, although surely its heart is in the...

ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER

Rhymed couplets convey the story of a girl who likes to build things but is shy about it. Neither the poetry nor Rosie’s projects always work well.

Rosie picks up trash and oddments where she finds them, stashing them in her attic room to work on at night. Once, she made a hat for her favorite zookeeper uncle to keep pythons away, and he laughed so hard that she never made anything publicly again. But when her great-great-aunt Rose comes to visit and reminds Rosie of her own past building airplanes, she expresses her regret that she still has not had the chance to fly. Great-great-aunt Rose is visibly modeled on Rosie the Riveter, the iconic, red-bandanna–wearing poster woman from World War II. Rosie decides to build a flying machine and does so (it’s a heli-o-cheese-copter), but it fails. She’s just about to swear off making stuff forever when Aunt Rose congratulates her on her failure; now she can go on to try again. Rosie wears her hair swooped over one eye (just like great-great-aunt Rose), and other figures have exaggerated hairdos, tiny feet and elongated or greatly rounded bodies. The detritus of Rosie’s collections is fascinating, from broken dolls and stuffed animals to nails, tools, pencils, old lamps and possibly an erector set. And cheddar-cheese spray.

Earnest and silly by turns, it doesn’t quite capture the attention or the imagination, although surely its heart is in the right place. (historical note) (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0845-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A retro-futuristic romp, literally and figuratively screwy.

ROBOBABY

Robo-parents Diode and Lugnut present daughter Cathode with a new little brother—who requires, unfortunately, some assembly.

Arriving in pieces from some mechanistic version of Ikea, little Flange turns out to be a cute but complicated tyke who immediately falls apart…and then rockets uncontrollably about the room after an overconfident uncle tinkers with his basic design. As a squad of helpline techies and bevies of neighbors bearing sludge cake and like treats roll in, the cluttered and increasingly crowded scene deteriorates into madcap chaos—until at last Cath, with help from Roomba-like robodog Sprocket, stages an intervention by whisking the hapless new arrival off to a backyard workshop for a proper assembly and software update. “You’re such a good big sister!” warbles her frazzled mom. Wiesner’s robots display his characteristic clean lines and even hues but endearingly look like vaguely anthropomorphic piles of random jet-engine parts and old vacuum cleaners loosely connected by joints of armored cable. They roll hither and thither through neatly squared-off panels and pages in infectiously comical dismay. Even the end’s domestic tranquility lasts only until Cathode spots the little box buried in the bigger one’s packing material: “TWINS!” (This book was reviewed digitally with 9-by-22-inch double-page spreads viewed at 52% of actual size.)

A retro-futuristic romp, literally and figuratively screwy. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-544-98731-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more