The 16 rhyming poems in this collection are aimed at preschoolers who are just learning about household chores such as folding laundry, vacuuming and making beds. Some of the poems are humorous and amiable, with action provided by a toddler leaping through the laundry or a child bouncing on a bed with starry sheets. Other poems try too earnestly to make a particular chore interesting or fun, not always successfully, and several poems in the collection either don’t scan well or have a sing-songy rhythm. Koeller’s cheerful illustrations add to the volume’s appeal, with a multiethnic cast of children and parents working together both inside the home and outdoors. She shows an equal division of tasks between males and females, with boys setting the table and cleaning up and a dad folding laundry and taking care of a toddler. Preschool teachers may find this collection useful for reinforcing basic housekeeping skills in the classroom, and parents might like to try the poems with their preschoolers as a way of focusing on the message of families working cooperatively. (Poetry. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-525-47776-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2007



An upbeat introduction to a Hindu festival.

Riffing on the nursery rhyme “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe,” this picture book explores Diwali celebrations in India.

The story opens, “One, two… // mehndi for you.” Mehndi is defined below the text, and a colorful illustration depicts people showing off the mehndi on their hands. Once the book reaches 10, it starts counting backward (“Ten, nine” / fireworks shine”), continuing the rhyming pattern. The text defines Hindi words such as rangoli (“colorful designs made on the floor or ground using chalk and flowers”), diya (traditional clay lamps), and jalebi (a sweet made from deep-frying dough) as well as potentially unfamiliar English words, such as rickshaw. While not all the words are directly related to Diwali, most are common vocabulary used in northern India, rendering the book a child-friendly introduction to South Asian Hindu culture. Lush illustrations in a joyful, vibrant palette convey the feelings of India’s festive season and feature characters with a variety of skin tones but mostly similar hair textures. While the authors’ note acknowledges India’s linguistic diversity—pointing out the holiday’s alternative spelling of Deepavali—it calls Diwali an “Indian” holiday when it is actually a Hindu holiday. (This book was reviewed digitally; the review has been updated for accuracy.) 

An upbeat introduction to a Hindu festival. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5344-5365-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2022


MacLennan’s appealing cover immediately grabs attention with five, bright yellow chicks jigging against a brown background. Composed of rhyming sounds, the visual narrative depicts yellow chicks, golden bees and striped kitty-cats as they play, nap and get drenched by raindrops. Preschoolers will respond to the motion-filled images and the fuzzy shapes, though some spreads require distance to distinguish the players. The rhythm breaks flow at times with some blips in rhyme, e.g. “Splitter, splatter. Wet. Wet. Wetter.” But the charm lies in the illustrations: vivid yellow, orange, green and black/white stripes against the brown textured paper. One oddity is the black-beaded eyes on all the figures; one of the pair is often spatially unattached from the head, appearing to float. The quirky style may elicit questions from kids, though it’s not unattractive. The large type and elongated format add appeal and invite reading aloud and participation. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 20, 2007

ISBN: 1-905417-40-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2007

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