PRESS HERE

One lone, yellow dot sits in the center of a blank, white page. Underneath is the inviting command (affirming the reader's already intrinsic urge): "Press here." Turn the page; now there are two yellow dots! Press again. Now, three! What happens if you tap them? Or tilt the book on its side? Gleefully, the dots scatter like marbles. Readers will clamor to press, poke, shake and blow the pages to find out what happens next. Compared to the squawking sounds and flashing lights of many toys, Tullet's simplicity is a breath of fresh air. He cues page turns with complete mastery of his audience. When all the dots very nearly float off the top of the page (readers may have blown too hard in the previous spread), he suggests what they will already have intuited: "Stand the book up straight / to make those dots drop down again." Clapping once makes the dots grow bigger; "Whoa! Clap twice?" A frenzy of clapping brings readers round to the beginning again. Better read one-on-one to avoid the crush of excited participants; however, all audiences will smile at this visual jolt of imaginative play. Children and parents keen to explore technological interactivity will delight in recalling the infinite possibilities of the picture book. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: March 16, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-8118-7954-5

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Handprint/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: April 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2011

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A comical, fresh look at crayons and color

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THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT

Duncan wants to draw, but instead of crayons, he finds a stack of letters listing the crayons’ demands in this humorous tale.

Red is overworked, laboring even on holidays. Gray is exhausted from coloring expansive spaces (elephants, rhinos and whales). Black wants to be considered a color-in color, and Peach? He’s naked without his wrapper! This anthropomorphized lot amicably requests workplace changes in hand-lettered writing, explaining their work stoppage to a surprised Duncan. Some are tired, others underutilized, while a few want official titles. With a little creativity and a lot of color, Duncan saves the day. Jeffers delivers energetic and playful illustrations, done in pencil, paint and crayon. The drawings are loose and lively, and with few lines, he makes his characters effectively emote. Clever spreads, such as Duncan’s “white cat in the snow” perfectly capture the crayons’ conundrum, and photographic representations of both the letters and coloring pages offer another layer of texture, lending to the tale’s overall believability.

A comical, fresh look at crayons and color . (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-399-25537-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

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A visual feast teeming with life.

HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A FLOWER?

A young urbanite romps through floral fields and deep into a flower’s anatomy, exploring humanity’s connection to nature.

A solo car travels away from the dense, gray cityscape. Mountains rise up, full of pattern and light, before revealing a fluorescent field of flowers. A child bursts from the car across the page, neon-rainbow hair streaming in the wind, as both child and place radiate joy and life. The brown-skinned, blue-eyed youngster breathes in the meadow and begins an adventure—part Jamberry, part “Thumbelina,” and part existential journey as the child realizes the life force running through the veins of the flower is the same that runs through all of us, from the water that sustains to the sun that grows. Harris’ colored-pencil illustrations are full of energy and spontaneity. His use of patterning and graphic symbology evoke Oaxacan design, yet the style is all his own. The text is equally enthusiastic: “Have you ever seen / a flower so deep / you had to shout / HELLO / and listen for an echo / just to know / how deep it goes?” The text shifts abruptly from metaphor to metaphor, in one spread the flower likened to a palace and a few pages later, to human anatomy. Nevertheless, like the protagonist and the natural environment, readers will feel themselves stretch and bloom.

A visual feast teeming with life. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4521-8270-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2021

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