Snow never left you feeling warmer inside.

READ REVIEW

TOYS MEET SNOW

BEING THE WINTERTIME ADVENTURES OF A CURIOUS STUFFED BUFFALO, A SENSITIVE PLUSH STINGRAY, AND A BOOK-LOVING RUBBER BALL

Three toys make their way out into their first snow.

Lumphy (the stuffed buffalo) has so many questions about all that white; StingRay (the, um, stingray) and Plastic (the ball) offer up answers both fantastic and factual, respectively. When Lumphy asks, "I mean, what is a snowflake?" StingRay responds immediately, "A snowflake is a tiny ballerina," while Plastic asserts, "No, it's just really tiny frozen water....I read that, too." Plastic reads a lot. The wonderfully idiosyncratic trio works brilliantly together, playing with equally exciting imaginary and realistic hypotheses about snow, their unique personalities and intellectual strengths jiving all the while. Subdued illustrations with cool colors and rounded shapes evoke the comforting softness of a threadbare, beloved toy. Amusing vertical and horizontal paneled sequences show these toys working together fervently: opening a door, building a snowman, discerning a snow-laden tree and a strawberry sunset. Children come away seeing the value, pleasure, and benefits of different outlooks and sensibilities. They also see that questions, elaborate, unusual answers, and unearthed facts can cohere into one swirling, whirling, dazzling snowstorm of discovery.

Snow never left you feeling warmer inside. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-37330-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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THE GRUFFALO

The action of this rhymed and humorous tale centers upon a mouse who "took a stroll/through the deep dark wood./A fox saw the mouse/and the mouse looked good." The mouse escapes being eaten by telling the fox that he is on his way to meet his friend the gruffalo (a monster of his imagination), whose favorite food is roasted fox. The fox beats a hasty retreat. Similar escapes are in store for an owl and a snake; both hightail it when they learn the particulars: tusks, claws, terrible jaws, eyes orange, tongue black, purple prickles on its back. When the gruffalo suddenly materializes out of the mouse's head and into the forest, the mouse has to think quick, declaring himself inedible as the "scariest creature in the deep dark wood," and inviting the gruffalo to follow him to witness the effect he has on the other creatures. When the gruffalo hears that the mouse's favorite food is gruffalo crumble, he runs away. It's a fairly innocuous tale, with twists that aren't sharp enough and treachery that has no punch. Scheffler's funny scenes prevent the suspense from culminating; all his creatures, predator and prey, are downright lovable. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8037-2386-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1999

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More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves

MAYBE

A young child explores the unlimited potential inherent in all humans.

“Have you ever wondered why you are here?” asks the second-person narration. There is no one like you. Maybe you’re here to make a difference with your uniqueness; maybe you will speak for those who can’t or use your gifts to shine a light into the darkness. The no-frills, unrhymed narrative encourages readers to follow their hearts and tap into their limitless potential to be anything and do anything. The precisely inked and colored artwork plays with perspective from the first double-page spread, in which the child contemplates a mountain (or maybe an iceberg) in their hands. Later, they stand on a ladder to place white spots on tall, red mushrooms. The oversized flora and fauna seem to symbolize the presumptively insurmountable, reinforcing the book’s message that anything is possible. This quiet read, with its sophisticated central question, encourages children to reach for their untapped potential while reminding them it won’t be easy—they will make messes and mistakes—but the magic within can help overcome falls and failures. It’s unlikely that members of the intended audience have begun to wonder about their life’s purpose, but this life-affirming mood piece has honorable intentions. The child, accompanied by an adorable piglet and sporting overalls and a bird-beaked cap made of leaves, presents white.

More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves . (Picture book. 2-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-946873-75-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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