From the In the Weather series

Put on your slicker and boots. It’s time for a rainy-day romp! (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

The few well-chosen words in this charming board book go straight to the crux of the action shown in the realistic watercolor illustrations.

Unobtrusive rhymes on every other page flow easily off the tongue. The simple, direct language mirrors language patterns of very young children, with one clear idea per page. One stanza says, “Water flows. / Make a boat. // Sail in stream. / Off it floats.” Accompanying pictures of a gutter downspout, a leaf boat, and the rivulet made by water from the gutter hint at details to come and will inspire conversation and simple science explorations. Is the water coming from the rain or from the garden hose lying in the grass? And who will use that hose later? Muted colors match the rainy day until the sun breaking through the clouds reveals a brilliant rainbow that fades at dusk. Where exactly all this takes place is open to interpretation. It could be a modest city neighborhood, a suburb, or a small town. What matters is that this bit of nature is right outside this young black girl’s home. Her glee as she stomps in puddles with her dog is palpable. That her mother seems to share her delight is refreshing.

Put on your slicker and boots. It’s time for a rainy-day romp! (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: March 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-56145-853-0

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: May 13, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018


From the Teenie Greenies series

Put on those gardening gloves; the fruits of this labor beckon.

A young girl watches her garden grow.

Though she's a bit older than the typical board-book audience, her self-reliance makes her an appealing character for toddlers struggling to assert their independence. The strategic use of sturdy flaps provides both peekaboo fun and structure to the storyline. “Yellow daisy. / Red rose. / A bud blooms. / [lift flap] A flower grows.” Some of the interactive elements clearly connect objects to one another (shovel, pail), while other pairings review the progress of the blossoming outdoors. The child enjoys the results of her hard work (smelling a flower has never been so sweet) and waters her lush plants with her pint-sized watering can. Varied vocabulary extends the text. “Harvest carrots / . . . squash and peas. / [lift flap] Pollinated by the bees.” Perhaps due to their having been printed on recycled paper with soy inks, the matte sides of the flaps tend to be darker than the rest, which are glossy.

Put on those gardening gloves; the fruits of this labor beckon. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 24, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-93041-5

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 12, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012


A well-meant miss.

A little boy takes an active role in recycling and reusing in this lift-the-flap tale.

The boy, along with a couple of young friends, demonstrates cleaning and sorting recyclables, donating unwanted clothes and toys, and reusing other materials for various projects. While this is a noble effort, the rhyming text, which appears on the outside of and under each flap, does not scan well: “Clink, clink, clink. Into each bin– / BOTTLES, / PAPER, / PLASTIC, / TIN.” Some of the concepts above and below each flap have a clear relationship to one another: A large cardboard box is empty above the flap and reused as a toy boat below the flap. Other concepts do not connect quite as well: The plastic (above the flap) and “tin” cans (under the flap) look to be going into the same bin, but the next page shows them carefully sorted into their own separate bins. The cover may also confuse little ones, and a few grown-ups too, since it mostly shows materials to be reused (toys and clothes to be donated), not recycled. The flat, friendly and soft-hued cartoons look to be a mix of digital art over collaged backgrounds of reused materials. Other titles in the Teenie Greenies series, which are printed on recycled paper with soy ink, tackle gardening, composting and transportation alternatives with greater clarity.

A well-meant miss. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-375-86172-7

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: April 9, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

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