PUMPKINHEAD

One thing you can say about Pumpkintown: Everyone has squash for brains. Young Pumpkinhead, who lives in Pumpkintown with all the other pumpkinheads, gets to wondering: “Does everyone in the world have a pumpkin head?” All of the townsfolk figure that’s probably the case, but then no one in town has ever been outside of town. All except Pumpkinhead’s mother, who, by telling Pumpkinhead that the answer to that question is a mystery, sets the lad on his quest of discovery. He takes to the road to learn the truth. That first night, so as not to lose his way in the morning, he removes his head before he goes to sleep and points it in the direction he wants to go when he wakes. Two mischievous squirrels overhear Pumpkinhead talking to himself about this stratagem and when he falls asleep, they give his head a half turn. When Pumpkinhead takes off in the morning, he’s heading home, though he doesn’t know it, and sure enough he comes upon a town like Pumpkintown, just like Pumpkintown. After talking with the townsfolk, who assure him that they are all pumpkinheads (his parents included, since they don’t recognize him), he heads back the way he came to tell his neighbors the news. He bunks under the same tree he had the night before, gets the same treatment from the squirrels, and winds up back home, yet again, with news of a world full of pumpkinheads. Bright with folly and tomfoolery, Kimmel’s tale has universal application and is ideally depicted by Haskamp’s crew of amiably clownish pumpkinheads. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2001

ISBN: 1-890817-33-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2001

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The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and...

WAITING FOR THE BIBLIOBURRO

Inspired by Colombian librarian Luis Soriano Bohórquez, Brown’s latest tells of a little girl whose wish comes true when a librarian and two book-laden burros visit her remote village.

Ana loves to read and spends all of her free time either reading alone or to her younger brother. She knows every word of the one book she owns. Although she uses her imagination to create fantastical bedtime tales for her brother, she really wants new books to read. Everything changes when a traveling librarian and his two donkeys, Alfa and Beto, arrive in the village. Besides loaning books to the children until his next visit, the unnamed man also reads them stories and teaches the younger children the alphabet. When Ana suggests that someone write a book about the traveling library, he encourages her to complete this task herself. After she reads her library books, Ana writes her own story for the librarian and gives it to him upon his reappearance—and he makes it part of his biblioburro collection. Parra’s colorful folk-style illustrations of acrylics on board bring Ana’s real and imaginary worlds to life. This is a child-centered complement to Jeanette Winter’s Biblioburro (2010), which focuses on Soriano.

The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and “iii-aah” adding to the fun.   (author’s note, glossary of Spanish terms) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 12, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58246-353-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tricycle

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2011

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An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way.

NOAH CHASES THE WIND

A young boy sees things a little differently than others.

Noah can see patterns in the dust when it sparkles in the sunlight. And if he puts his nose to the ground, he can smell the “green tang of the ants in the grass.” His most favorite thing of all, however, is to read. Noah has endless curiosity about how and why things work. Books open the door to those answers. But there is one question the books do not explain. When the wind comes whistling by, where does it go? Noah decides to find out. In a chase that has a slight element of danger—wind, after all, is unpredictable—Noah runs down streets, across bridges, near a highway, until the wind lifts him off his feet. Cowman’s gusty wisps show each stream of air turning a different jewel tone, swirling all around. The ribbons gently bring Noah home, setting him down under the same thinking tree where he began. Did it really happen? Worthington’s sensitive exploration leaves readers with their own set of questions and perhaps gratitude for all types of perspective. An author’s note mentions children on the autism spectrum but widens to include all who feel a little different.

An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60554-356-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Redleaf Lane

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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