Skip this; for celebrations of curly splendor, get bell hooks’ Happy to Be Nappy, illustrated by Chris Raschka (1999), and...

READ REVIEW

CLARA'S CRAZY CURLS

A little girl’s very large curls cause chaos in this clunky lesson.

Pink-skinned, rosy-cheeked Clara loves her upward-growing mop of red curls; she even carries her crayons, ruler and sandwich in it. She wishes her ringlets were the “tallest hair in all the world!” Finding a product that promises “Big & Beautiful Hair,” she slathers it on. Clara’s orangey-red, yellow-highlighted curls grow so tall and wide they bleed off the pages. The huge mane makes Clara famous. But now her hair obscures people’s views at school and in a theater; reaching the sky, it blocks airplanes. Clara confesses that she used more hair cream than she had claimed to, and her mother arranges a haircut—though why the haircut required the confession is anybody’s guess, unless tell the truth is another message, on top of be careful what you wish for and don’t let your hairdo bother anyone. Poole’s verse scans poorly—“Little Clara May was very very small. / But what was most extraordinary was her hair was really tall!”—and rhymes don’t always rhyme (trees/pleased; world/curls). The cartoony illustrations are slick and occasionally sloppy: In the theater, four kids face away from the movie screen purely so readers can see their faces.

Skip this; for celebrations of curly splendor, get bell hooks’ Happy to Be Nappy, illustrated by Chris Raschka (1999), and Carolivia Herron’s Nappy Hair, illustrated by Joe Cepeda (1997), instead. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-62370-043-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Stone Arch Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

This deeply satisfying story offers what all children crave when letting go—security and a trusted companion.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • Caldecott Honor Book

SLEEP LIKE A TIGER

The stages and script preceding this child’s passage into dreamland are so appealing they will surely inspire imitation.

When the protagonist announces that she is not sleepy, her wise parents counter that they are not requiring sleep, only pajama-wearing, face-washing and teeth-brushing. She then feels so good that “she loved / …stretching her toes / down under the crisp sheets, / lying as still as an otter / floating in a stream.” Logue’s words lull and caress as parents and child converse about how and where animals sleep. (Many appeared on earlier pages as toys.) Alone, the youngster replays each scene, inserting herself; the cozy images help her relax. Zagarenski’s exquisite compositions are rendered digitally and in mixed-media on wood, offering much to ponder. The paintings are luminous, from the child’s starry pajamas to the glowing whale supporting her sleep journey. Transparent layers, blending patterns, complex textures and wheeled objects add to the sense of gentle movement. The tiger, both the beloved cloth version and the real deal, is featured prominently; it is the child who contributes this example, narrating the connection between strength and rest. When sleep arrives, the stuffed animal is cradled in her arms; she leans against the jungle beast, and he clings to her doll.

This deeply satisfying story offers what all children crave when letting go—security and a trusted companion. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-547-64102-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Aug. 8, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

When Llama Llama’s feeling “just not right” turns into a full-blown sickness complete with aches, sneezing, fever and sore...

LLAMA LLAMA HOME WITH MAMA

From the Llama Llama series , Vol. 5

Proving once again that she understands the preschool set, Dewdney shows what life is like when first Llama Llama and then Mama get sick.

When Llama Llama’s feeling “just not right” turns into a full-blown sickness complete with aches, sneezing, fever and sore throat, Mama sends him back to bed (wearing red pajamas, of course) and administers the inevitable yucky medicine. The listless boy struggles to occupy himself, but Mama saves the day with a book, after which he takes a curative snooze. But after lunch the tables turn—Llama Llama is feeling better, but Mama now has the sniffles: “Llama Llama, red pajama, / sick and bored, at home with Mama.” Luckily, he’s still in that delightful preschool stage where helping out is a favorite playtime activity, and he has learned how to care for sick people from a master. A fluffed pillow, new box of tissues and stack of books are just what Mama needs. While his actions are sweet and endearing, it’s the togetherness that sets both on the road to recovery. Dewdney’s artwork is the ideal foil to her rhyming verses—her characters’ bleary, sick expressions alone are sure to elicit giggles and knowing smiles.

Pub Date: Aug. 23, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-670-01232-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: July 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more