SMILING

The latest addition to the Small World series, which shows children around the world engaged in similar activities, focuses on the very human act of smiling. Using full-color photographs, Swain supplies a rhythmic cascade of statements and queries: “Do you smile when you put on a hat? Do you smile for the camera, just like that?” Every page contains a photograph with one to two lines that are simple enough for beginning readers to attempt. The scope of photographs allows children to stretch their imaginations: all convey the information that people are more alike than different. An index provides further information on the locations and settings of the photographs. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: April 13, 1999

ISBN: 1-57505-256-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Carolrhoda

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1999

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HOW MANY CANDLES?

PLB 0-688-16259-2 Time is relative, as Griffith’s pleasingly droll story makes clear, especially when a cat, a dog, a turtle, and a couple gnats get together to compare longevity. The dog, Alex, has made a cake for his friend, Robbie, a boy turning ten who never appears in these pages. A cat notes that Robbie’s years equal about 70 of hers, while a turtle figures that the same number equals about 8 of his years, because he can live to be 100. Two gnats buzz in to check on the doings, and they can’t even begin to comprehend the very notion of ten years—“ ‘Well, they’re gnats,’ said the cat. ‘Ten years to a boy is one billion years to a gnat.’ “ As Alex tries to determine how many candles are needed for each new configuration, the cat sniffs the cake: “This seems to be made of dog biscuits,” and the higher mathematics are put on the back burner while some sheer tomfoolery comes to the fore. This is a delightful exploration of dry humor and number-juggling, accompanied by some elegantly funny artwork. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-688-16258-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1999

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BONNIE'S BLUE HOUSE

This color-concept book from newcomer Asbury has much going for it. The spare text (``I am Bonnie and this is my cat, Bluebonnet'') and the two-color illustrations (black and blue on a bed of white) are simple, direct, and oddly comforting. Bonnie recounts a day in her life: She introduces readers to her home, cavorts with her pals in a tree fort and swimming pool, sups, watches TV, reads her dad a bedtime story. For the most part, Asbury has chosen the vehicles for his color with a nod toward familiarity—blue water, blueberry pie, blue eyes (small, ghoulish buttons)—and sometimes with real invention: the flicker of the cathode ray, the glow of moonlight. The blue tree, on the other hand, is discordant. Two companion volumes, Rusty's Red Vacation (ISBN 0-8050-4021-8) and Yolanda's Yellow School (- 4023-4), take Asbury's color message aptly into those realms. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: April 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-8050-4022-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1997

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