An ingenious, inspiring lesson in the crafting of poetry.

STOP THAT POEM!

Everywhere this kid goes, they create poems about poems.

In the opening scene, a pale-skinned kid with black hair in a pageboy carefully stacks gray rectangles containing single words in a wagon. A brown-skinned kid observes, asking “What are you making?” The answer: “A poem.” Indeed, the sequence of rectangles poetically reads, “then fall like / a warm / spring shower.” As rectangles pile higher in the wagon, a new set of lines forms, this one about a poem that soars like a kite and climbs like a tower. When the wind carries the words like pieces of paper across the landscape to create another poem, this one speaks of poems jumping up, taking flight, climbing higher. Moving from one landscape to the next, the protagonist’s poems pass like snakes through grass, float like toy boats, hang singly like laundry on a line, get carried away by a dog, nest in a tree, and so on. With each new sequence of words, a new poem emerges as the poet and the word wagon visually progress from woods, over hills, and through fields to a village, gradually attracting a diverse collection of children who are advised to “set your poem free” and watch it grow, “row by row, / rhyme by rhyme.” By assembling individual words into poems, the protagonist effectively creates the text, while dynamic, contemporary, stylized illustrations cleverly incorporate the poems into each double-page spread.

An ingenious, inspiring lesson in the crafting of poetry. (Poetry. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68464-223-6

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: June 28, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2021

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While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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Nothing new here but a nonetheless congenial matriculant in publishing’s autumnal rite of back-to-school offerings.

THE CRAYONS GO BACK TO SCHOOL

The Crayons head back to class in this latest series entry.

Daywalt’s expository text lays out the basics as various Crayons wave goodbye to the beach, choose a first-day outfit, greet old friends, and make new ones. As in previous outings, the perennially droll illustrations and hand-lettered Crayon-speak drive the humor. The ever wrapperless Peach, opining, “What am I going to wear?” surveys three options: top hat and tails, a chef’s toque and apron, and a Santa suit. New friends Chunky Toddler Crayon (who’s missing a bite-sized bit of their blue point) and Husky Toddler Crayon speculate excitedly on their common last name: “I wonder if we’re related!” White Crayon, all but disappearing against the page’s copious white space, sits cross-legged reading a copy of H.G. Wells’ The Invisible Man. And Yellow and Orange, notable for their previous existential argument about the color of the sun, find agreement in science class: Jupiter, clearly, is yellow AND orange. Everybody’s excited about art class—“Even if they make a mess. Actually…ESPECIALLY if they make a mess!” Here, a spread of crayoned doodles of butterflies, hearts, and stars is followed by one with fulsome scribbles. Fans of previous outings will spot cameos from Glow in the Dark and yellow-caped Esteban (the Crayon formerly known as Pea Green). (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Nothing new here but a nonetheless congenial matriculant in publishing’s autumnal rite of back-to-school offerings. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: May 16, 2023

ISBN: 9780593621110

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Feb. 24, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2023

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