Readers will appreciate seeing the good things that come to those who wait, watch, and water.

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LUKE & THE LITTLE SEED

What could be a better gift for a wee mouse than a mysterious gift that promises both something delicious to eat and branches to climb and play on?

It's Luke's birthday—Luke being a little mouse standing on a soft, grassy hill, waving at his friends as they arrive at his party. Then his bespectacled grandfather gives him a gift: a small orange bag, full, disappointingly, of “just seeds.” But his grandfather promises that if Luke takes care of them, the gift will provide a tasty treat and a botanical jungle gym. They plant the seeds, but like every small child (or mouse), Luke is disappointed when he doesn't see speedy results. Grandfather counsels patience. Finally, up grows a small, strong shoot, and Luke sits over it, enchanted, as if a new friend has magically appeared. The story quickens; Luke forgets to water the plant, and it nearly dies; when, one day, Luke is sick in bed, his curious friends happily fill in for him. The soft pastel watercolors beautifully capture the world from a mouse’s-eye view, and the mice are irresistible, with their big ears, little hands and feet, and eyes that shine like tiny marbles. Towering, fluffy white dandelions stand like watchful and eager spectators.

Readers will appreciate seeing the good things that come to those who wait, watch, and water. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-988-8240-94-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Minedition

Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2015

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Cool and stylish.

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ADA TWIST, SCIENTIST

Her intellectual curiosity is surpassed only by her passion for science. But what to do about her messy experiments?

Ada is speechless until she turns 3. But once she learns how to break out of her crib, there’s no stopping the kinky-haired, brown-skinned girl. “She tore through the house on a fact-finding spree.” When she does start speaking, her favorite words are “why,” “how,” and “when.” Her parents, a fashion-forward black couple who sport a variety of trendy outfits, are dumbfounded, and her older brother can only point at her in astonishment. She amazes her friends with her experiments. Ada examines all the clocks in the house, studies the solar system, and analyzes all the smells she encounters. Fortunately, her parents stop her from putting the cat in the dryer, sending her instead to the Thinking Chair. But while there, she covers the wall with formulae. What can her parents do? Instead of punishing her passion, they decide to try to understand it. “It’s all in the heart of a young scientist.” Though her plot is negligible—Ada’s parents arguably change more than she does—Beaty delightfully advocates for girls in science in her now-trademark crisply rhyming text. Roberts’ illustrations, in watercolor, pen, and ink, manage to be both smart and silly; the page compositions artfully evoke the tumult of Ada’s curiosity, filling white backgrounds with questions and clutter.

Cool and stylish. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2137-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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Earnest and silly by turns, it doesn’t quite capture the attention or the imagination, although surely its heart is in the...

ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER

Rhymed couplets convey the story of a girl who likes to build things but is shy about it. Neither the poetry nor Rosie’s projects always work well.

Rosie picks up trash and oddments where she finds them, stashing them in her attic room to work on at night. Once, she made a hat for her favorite zookeeper uncle to keep pythons away, and he laughed so hard that she never made anything publicly again. But when her great-great-aunt Rose comes to visit and reminds Rosie of her own past building airplanes, she expresses her regret that she still has not had the chance to fly. Great-great-aunt Rose is visibly modeled on Rosie the Riveter, the iconic, red-bandanna–wearing poster woman from World War II. Rosie decides to build a flying machine and does so (it’s a heli-o-cheese-copter), but it fails. She’s just about to swear off making stuff forever when Aunt Rose congratulates her on her failure; now she can go on to try again. Rosie wears her hair swooped over one eye (just like great-great-aunt Rose), and other figures have exaggerated hairdos, tiny feet and elongated or greatly rounded bodies. The detritus of Rosie’s collections is fascinating, from broken dolls and stuffed animals to nails, tools, pencils, old lamps and possibly an erector set. And cheddar-cheese spray.

Earnest and silly by turns, it doesn’t quite capture the attention or the imagination, although surely its heart is in the right place. (historical note) (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0845-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2013

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