Next book



A rousing read-aloud begging for enthusiastic performers.

Greenfield invites children to imagine what a fridge full of veggies might do once their people leave for the evening.

They dance, of course—once Cabbage summons them forth as the family departs. Greenfield’s beginning and ending passages are in free verse. In between, syncopated rhymes introduce the fruits and vegetables, many of whom take up instruments to “make a mighty music / for the party that’s to come.” After turns by Zucchini and Hip-Hop String Bean, “The baby limas wobble-dance, / can hardly stand at all, / their mamas run / and catch them, / the moment they start to fall.” Next up: hot chili peppers and a stately waltz from Mr. Corn and Ms. Arugula. “Then, / the sweet potato sisters / dance as sweet as pie, / pirouette and flit / and flutter, / curtsy with a sigh.” After working up a sweat, it’s time to slow-dance back into the “delicious coldness” of the fridge, “(sweet potatoes to the bin),” all contemplating “their / fantabulous / PAR-TAY. / YEAHHHH.” The gifted Tate’s illustrations resemble loose, translucent watercolors contoured by wide, waxy lines. Aside from some pink tutus for the sweet potato sisters and Mr. Corn’s neat mustache, the visual focus is on the veggies’ hip exuberance rather than gender stereotypes.

A rousing read-aloud begging for enthusiastic performers. (author’s note, references) (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-9977720-2-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Alazar Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

Next book


From the Once Upon a World series

A nice but not requisite purchase.

A retelling of the classic fairy tale in board-book format and with a Mexican setting.

Though simplified for a younger audience, the text still relates the well-known tale: mean-spirited stepmother, spoiled stepsisters, overworked Cinderella, fairy godmother, glass slipper, charming prince, and, of course, happily-ever-after. What gives this book its flavor is the artwork. Within its Mexican setting, the characters are olive-skinned and dark-haired. Cultural references abound, as when a messenger comes carrying a banner announcing a “FIESTA” in beautiful papel picado. Cinderella is the picture of beauty, with her hair up in ribbons and flowers and her typically Mexican many-layered white dress. The companion volume, Snow White, set in Japan and illustrated by Misa Saburi, follows the same format. The simplified text tells the story of the beautiful princess sent to the forest by her wicked stepmother to be “done away with,” the dwarves that take her in, and, eventually, the happily-ever-after ending. Here too, what gives the book its flavor is the artwork. The characters wear traditional clothing, and the dwarves’ house has the requisite shoji screens, tatami mats and cherry blossoms in the garden. The puzzling question is, why the board-book presentation? Though the text is simplified, it’s still beyond the board-book audience, and the illustrations deserve full-size books.

A nice but not requisite purchase. (Board book/fairy tale. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-7915-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 11, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

Next book


Egg-stra special.

The creators of Pick a Pine Tree (2017) and Pick a Pumpkin (2019) cover each step of a popular Easter tradition.

The first stop for a light-skinned caregiver and child is the farm. Peering into the henhouse, they spot an egg (reminding readers that eggs don’t originate at the grocery store). More eggs are collected throughout the spring countryside and brought home, ready to hard boil. While the eggs are cooling, it’s time to prepare the dye! The lively text highlights natural methods first (“Stew some plants / to make a brew: / beets turn eggs / a rosy hue. / Spinach? Green! / Berries? Blue! / Try some herbs / or spices, too”) but also gives a nod to store-bought kits. After a full day of egg decorating, the youngster wakes up the next morning for a festive neighborhood egg hunt. Happily, treats found inside plastic eggs are not limited to sugar only; they include secret notes, tiny toys, and coins, too. (The child adds their dyed eggs to this bounty.) Sprays of bright greens, a shining sun, and dotted buds on trees as well as pastel bunting and fuzzy bunny ears and flower crowns on little ones bring a light, airy lift to this joyful community gathering. The children involved in the egg hunt are diverse in skin tone. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Egg-stra special. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-5362-2847-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Nov. 15, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2022

Close Quickview