LIKE A WINDY DAY

Using just a few words per page, this father-and-son team creates an autumnal ode in which a girl imagines herself one with the wind. “I want to play like a windy day,” reads the opening; a framed panel shows the child gazing at the breeze above. “I want to zoom down hillsides.” With flowing hair and arms outstretched to touch a floating leaf, the wind looks just like her. Throughout, mural-like panels appear on double-page spreads; as the girl and her wind twin travel from city to countryside to seashore and back the leaf remains just out of reach. As in their first collaboration, Baby Duck’s New Friend (2001) the Asch duo’s pen-and-ink illustrations are digitally enhanced allowing for a softening of lines and a diaphanous overlay of color. In the first spread, for example, undulating layers of lavender, robin’s egg, and cornflower blue create a colorful horizon against which the ghostlike wind glides. As the girl takes flight (“I want to scatter seeds”), the dandelion she’s holding loosens its delicate spores that flow like tiny white birds above the verdant glade. The dreamlike imagery enchants and the simple text is sure to inspire interpretive movement from the preschool set. A good bet for sharing on a blustery day. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-15-216376-X

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Gulliver/Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2002

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A TREE IS NICE

A nursery school approach to a general concept. "A tree is nice"- Why? Because..."We can climb the tree...play pirate ship...pick the apples...build playhouses out of the leaves. A tree is nice to hang a swing in...Birds build nests in trees... Sticks come off trees...People have picnics there too"...etc. etc. One follows the give and take of a shared succession of reactions to what a tree- or trees- can mean. There is a kind of poetic simplicity that is innate in small children. Marc Simont has made the pictures, half in full color, and they too have a childlike directness (with an underlying sophistication that adults will recognize). Not a book for everyone -but those who like it will like it immensely. The format (6 x 11) makes it a difficult book for shelving, so put it in the "clean hands" section of flat books. Here's your first book for Arbor Day use- a good spring and summer item.

Pub Date: June 15, 1956

ISBN: 978-0-06-443147-7

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Harper

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1956

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A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.

MAMA BUILT A LITTLE NEST

Echoing the meter of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” Ward uses catchy original rhymes to describe the variety of nests birds create.

Each sweet stanza is complemented by a factual, engaging description of the nesting habits of each bird. Some of the notes are intriguing, such as the fact that the hummingbird uses flexible spider web to construct its cup-shaped nest so the nest will stretch as the chicks grow. An especially endearing nesting behavior is that of the emperor penguin, who, with unbelievable patience, incubates the egg between his tummy and his feet for up to 60 days. The author clearly feels a mission to impart her extensive knowledge of birds and bird behavior to the very young, and she’s found an appealing and attractive way to accomplish this. The simple rhymes on the left page of each spread, written from the young bird’s perspective, will appeal to younger children, and the notes on the right-hand page of each spread provide more complex factual information that will help parents answer further questions and satisfy the curiosity of older children. Jenkins’ accomplished collage illustrations of common bird species—woodpecker, hummingbird, cowbird, emperor penguin, eagle, owl, wren—as well as exotics, such as flamingoes and hornbills, are characteristically naturalistic and accurate in detail.

A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.   (author’s note, further resources) (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2116-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2014

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