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A sweet ode of gratitude for the simple pleasures in a child’s life. Maccarone’s (A Child Was Born, not reviewed, etc.) rhyming verses, containing just a twinkling of humor, enumerate the many things for which little ones can be grateful. The eclectic list begins in a haphazard fashion; each four-line stanza is organized more according to rhyme than category, with the blessings heaped on the night sky and toy cars with equal fervor. Yet, despite this unorthodox coupling, Maccarone gets at the core of a child’s universe, the favorite and familiar: the toys, furniture, and all the minutiae adults so easily pass over but are so vital to and loved by children. By the conclusion, the narrators have expanded beyond the limits of their own sphere to include a heartfelt blessing of the wide world. “Bless the water, / earth, and air / Bless the children / everywhere.” Williams’s (Sleepy Me, p. 590, etc.) softly drawn illustrations reflect the spirit of the poem. Full-bleed paintings in a symphony of sleepy-time hues set the tone for slumber. From mischievous tots whimsically perched atop the moon and stars to a child cuddling with stuffed animals, Williams deftly combines fantastical landscapes with cozy, comforting real-world images. A gentle reminder for youngsters (and adults, too) to be grateful for the small things. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-439-23505-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2001

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Younger audiences may be mostly interested in the bonking and stinky parts, but the rudiments are at least in place for...

Ten tales from the Old and New Testaments, with plot points and lessons hidden beneath large, shaped flaps.

Higgins depicts Jesus as a bit larger than those around him but otherwise draws him and the rest of the cast—including angels—with similar-looking round heads, wide-open eyes, slightly crooked beards (on the men), and dark brown or olive skin. Cycling arbitrarily among various tenses, the abbreviated, sanitized, and informally retold episodes begin in “a garden” with the tree, most of Adam and Eve, and the “tricky serpent” who “will trick them” initially hidden beneath die-cut flaps. Lifting the largest reveals the disobedient first couple sporting flashy animal-skin togs and text that promises that “God had a plan to save people from sin.” After Noah boards the “crowded, noisy, and stinky” ark, Moses leads the escape from plague-ridden Egypt (“Frogs and locusts! Yucky sores and flies!”), and “David bonks Goliath.” God’s promise eventually bears fruit with the birth and select miracles of Jesus. In the climactic scene, three distant crosses hide beneath a flap that depicts Jerusalem, while behind a tomb in the foreground an angel literally fizzes with fireworks. Beneath a bush readers see Mary (Magdalen) weeping until the risen Jesus (beneath another bush) gives her a hug: “Go tell the disciples that I am alive!”

Younger audiences may be mostly interested in the bonking and stinky parts, but the rudiments are at least in place for homiletic discussion. (Novelty/religion. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5064-4684-4

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Beaming Books

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

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This book for the very young adds to the growing number of books on Islamic fasts and feasts, but in its simplicity it doesn’t supply very much in the way of information. The text starts off rhythmically: “We wait for the moon / we watch for the moon / we watch for the Ramadan moon,” but make little sense when it states “We fast by day / under the moon…” and becomes downright pedestrian as “We speak kind words / and stop bad habits / under the moon.” The pastels lend a special softness and serenity, glowing with intensity when it is really night and the moon is shown in its different phases throughout the lunar month of Ramadan, and the people depicted show some of the diversity of the American Muslim community. Most young readers, however, won’t understand that the people in the book are living through a month of fasting each day, and even the author’s note doesn’t provide adults with enough details to expand upon the text. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-8075-8304-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2008

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