FOLLOW THE LEADER

The classic child’s game of follow-the-leader springs to life in a convivial tale of sibling play. Inside on a snowy day, two brothers frolic through the house, letting their imaginations soar as they enact the creative commands of the eldest. Together they hop about imitating various animals, do handstands, twirl, juggle imaginary objects, and much more. Silverman’s (Raisel’s Riddle, 1999, etc.) bouncy rhymes capture the energy of the siblings as they bound through the game. “Climb up the jungle gym. Dangle. Then jump. Sit on a swing and pump, pump, pump, pump!” She adeptly conveys the nuances of sibling relationships and rivalry—from the preemptory tone of the older brother to the younger one’s attempts at independence. Underneath the play is a message about taking turns—with the older brother eventually, gracefully conceding his leader status to his younger sibling. The illustrations of the round-headed brothers have an appealing cartoon-like quality to them and are a perfect venue for the humorous tale. Karas’s (High-Rise Private Eyes, p. 964, etc.) vivacious, full-color drawings combine the twosome’s flights of fancy with their pragmatic, homemade props—e.g., a trio of stuffed animals becomes a circus menagerie, and a white polka-dot quilt transforms a hodgepodge pile of objects into a snow-covered ski slope. The possibilities are limitless in this imaginative romp, which will have readers eagerly anticipating their own follow-the-leader adventures. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2000

ISBN: 0-374-32423-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2000

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Contemplative children will spend hours on each page, noticing such subtleties as reappearing animals and the slowly rising...

FLASHLIGHT

A wordless picture book both soothing and gently humorous.

The cover displays the template that will appear throughout: black pages with stylized, silvery, moonlit flora and fauna, except where the flashlight’s glow shows the colors of objects as they appear in full-spectrum light. That triangular beam will reveal such things as a beaver in a pond, bats in the sky, mice munching on apples and a set of colorful Tibetan prayer flags suspended between two woodland trees. Although rendered in gouache, the art resembles a scratch painting, with myriad tiny plants and animals inscribed into the black background, starting with captivating endpapers. On the title page, an androgynous child in a tent lies propped on elbows, reading a book by flashlight. Because there is no text, the sets of double-page spreads that follow initially leave room for interpretation as to whether one child or two are next seen happily perusing the night woods, flashlight in hand. No matter; the important elements are the amazing details in the art, the funny twist at the end and the ability of the author-illustrator to create a dark night world utterly devoid of threat.

Contemplative children will spend hours on each page, noticing such subtleties as reappearing animals and the slowly rising moon over the course of one night in the forest. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4521-1894-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

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Fun enough for a single read-aloud, but mostly fluff.

ROSIE THE DRAGON AND CHARLIE MAKE WAVES

Charlie has chosen an unusual pet, and managing her at the community pool takes a lot of effort.

Charlie, a black child with a high top fade, didn’t have a dragon in mind when adopting a pet, but Rosie, a round-bellied, dark pink dragon, liked Charlie. “And now we’re best friends. We do everything together.” Today, they are going to the pool. Last time “didn’t go that well,” so this time Charlie is prepared. First, Charlie reviews the rules with Rosie. Then Charlie chases after her, keeping her from terrorizing the families with her play. After many pages of damage control, Charlie finally gets Rosie to calm down, give both Charlie and some friends a ride, and eventually swim on her own. Charlie’s pep talk to Rosie before her solo swim can be taken as sound advice for life. But can Charlie keep her from downing the gummy skunks? (And if they give her such terrible breath, why did Charlie bring them along?) The digital illustrations are bright, playful, and attractive, well suited to the story. The dragon’s shenanigans go on far too long, with some abrupt, arbitrary changes in direction, and the humor won’t appeal to everyone. Still there are some young dragon lovers and fans of mischief who will revel in this silly romp.

Fun enough for a single read-aloud, but mostly fluff. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5420-4292-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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