ONE TOO MANY

A SEEK & FIND COUNTING BOOK

A bouncy flea (surprisingly not the “one too many” of the title) helps readers keep count of a barnyard full of animals. As the various beasts congregate around the watering trough throughout the day, the flea takes a bounce on each species that arrives. A silvery trail helps readers follow the hops. A single numeral (from 1 to 12) in the upper right-hand corner represents the number of species present as well as the number of newcomer animals. With its seven-word text and farm-animal theme, this is a good match for younger children with the patience for seek-and-find games. Marino’s illlustrations are marvelously striking, positioning animals that are largely black and white, with a bit of sepia, against blue sky (that modulates to pink and then to night) and sandy barnyard. While the silvery flea trail will help youngsters identify the kind of animal they need to count, the black-and-white palette ups the seek-and-find ante, especially as the trough gets increasingly crowded. This, along with the additional challenges listed in the back, makes this one a rare counting book with wide appeal. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-8118-6908-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Jan. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2010

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A slight addition to a seasonal collection redeemed by its striking illustrations.

GOODBYE WINTER, HELLO SPRING

A dialogic approach to the turn of the seasons.

A young child, with beige skin and dark hair, and a white dog walk through the darkened, snowy countryside. They greet the snow and the winter night; a frozen pond and an empty nest; and even a glass house. Each in turn answers back, offering insight into their experience of the chilly atmosphere. Following a wordless spread that serves as a pictorial climax, the season shifts toward spring, with increased sunlight, warmth, melting snow, and the renewed presence of songbirds and flowers. The world has come to life again, and the child and dog run through green fields sparsely patched with retreating snow. The contrasting color palettes and geometric shapes in the accumulating spreads effectively evoke the stark darkness of winter and the bright warmth of spring. Ground-level and bird’s-eye perspectives of the rural setting and tiny details reward eagle-eyed readers. The rapid change from nocturnal winter storm to bright, green spring day seems a bit contrived, underscoring the book’s premise of transition and metamorphosis. Moreover, the child’s conversation with the natural world at times leaves readers unclear of who is speaking, which may cause confusion during a read-aloud. This is the third book in Pak’s seasonal cycle.

A slight addition to a seasonal collection redeemed by its striking illustrations. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-15172-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Nov. 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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PERFECT SQUARE

The volume, like its subject, is a perfect square, welcoming readers into a colorful, geometric romp. Opposite a shiny red page with white type sits “a perfect [red] square. It had four matching corners and four equal sides.” On the next page, the square wears a smile, because it is “perfectly happy.” On Monday, though, the square is no longer square; someone has cut it up and had at it with a hole puncher, so those shapes arrange themselves into a fountain (with red dots as water). On Tuesday, the square is torn into orange shapes and becomes a garden with the addition of a few well-placed lines. Wednesday’s green shreds become a park, Friday’s blue ribbons turn into a river. Each day, the brilliant colors change, and the square is torn, crumpled or cut. The artist adds lines—making fish, clouds, etc.—that enable readers to see the new creation. The simple language is as perfect as the initial square. Hall’s acrylic monotypes make each iteration slightly different in texture and color, so the whole is a visual feast. The entire week comes together in a “This is the house that Jack built” way at the end, when on Sunday the square becomes a window onto all that was made. Young readers will absorb the visual lessons effortlessly and with delight. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-06-191513-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Greenwillow

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2011

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