Droll, imagination-stretching ways to get from here to there, from this to that, from now to later.

MY PICTURES AFTER THE STORM

A whimsical series of before-and-after images, from the author of The Bureau of Misplaced Dads (illustrated by Pauline Martin, 2015).

The book is printed on heavy stock with board covers but is not exactly toddler fare. Within, contrasting sets of very simply drawn cartoons on opposite sides of each spread offer amusing—if usually calamitous—changes by named but never-seen agencies. After a storm, for instance, a towel-clad “boy on a ship” becomes a naked (discreetly posed) “boy in the nip.” Similarly, “after the elephant,” a cake, an octopus, and a castle are left, respectively, “a splitch,” “a splatch,” and “a splotch”; food items are transformed “after lunch” to a few remnants (except for a plate of boiled spinach, which remains, oddly, unchanged); and “after the hairdresser,” a billy goat ends up a multibraided “silly goat.” Considering that the labels are translated from the French, Hahn merits a nod for the frequent rhymes and other wordplay. There’s no overall sense of development or resolution to the arbitrarily ordered contents, and human figures, when they appear, are all white. Still, the comical contrasts between the befores and the afters will elicit chuckles, and filling in the betweens can only add to the fun.

Droll, imagination-stretching ways to get from here to there, from this to that, from now to later. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-7765-7104-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Gecko Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

This story covers the few days preceding the much-anticipated Midnight Zombie Walk, when Stink and company will take to the...

STINK AND THE MIDNIGHT ZOMBIE WALK

From the Stink series

An all-zombie-all-the-time zombiefest, featuring a bunch of grade-school kids, including protagonist Stink and his happy comrades.

This story covers the few days preceding the much-anticipated Midnight Zombie Walk, when Stink and company will take to the streets in the time-honored stiff-armed, stiff-legged fashion. McDonald signals her intent on page one: “Stink and Webster were playing Attack of the Knitting Needle Zombies when Fred Zombie’s eye fell off and rolled across the floor.” The farce is as broad as the Atlantic, with enough spookiness just below the surface to provide the all-important shivers. Accompanied by Reynolds’ drawings—dozens of scene-setting gems with good, creepy living dead—McDonald shapes chapters around zombie motifs: making zombie costumes, eating zombie fare at school, reading zombie books each other to reach the one-million-minutes-of-reading challenge. When the zombie walk happens, it delivers solid zombie awfulness. McDonald’s feel-good tone is deeply encouraging for readers to get up and do this for themselves because it looks like so much darned fun, while the sub-message—that reading grows “strong hearts and minds,” as well as teeth and bones—is enough of a vital interest to the story line to be taken at face value.

Pub Date: March 13, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7636-5692-8

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Very young gardeners will need more information, but for certain picky eaters, the suggested strategy just might work.

SYLVIA'S SPINACH

A young spinach hater becomes a spinach lover after she has to grow her own in a class garden.

Unable to trade away the seed packet she gets from her teacher for tomatoes, cukes or anything else more palatable, Sylvia reluctantly plants and nurtures a pot of the despised veggie then transplants it outside in early spring. By the end of school, only the plot’s lettuce, radishes and spinach are actually ready to eat (talk about a badly designed class project!)—and Sylvia, once she nerves herself to take a nibble, discovers that the stuff is “not bad.” She brings home an armful and enjoys it from then on in every dish: “And that was the summer Sylvia Spivens said yes to spinach.” Raff uses unlined brushwork to give her simple cartoon illustrations a pleasantly freehand, airy look, and though Pryor skips over the (literally, for spinach) gritty details in both the story and an afterword, she does cover gardening basics in a simple and encouraging way.

Very young gardeners will need more information, but for certain picky eaters, the suggested strategy just might work. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-9836615-1-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Readers to Eaters

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more