An earnest, good-hearted rhyming picture book that shows how sadness and happiness can be a matter of awareness and...

READ REVIEW

SO MANY RAISINS TO BE HAPPY

(SO FEW RAISINS TO COMPLAIN)

Friends help a sad raisin learn to focus on the positive in this picture book with rhyming text for young children.

A little raisin drooping on a vine and thinking unhappy thoughts doesn’t see any “raisin to be happy” until his fellow raisins help him see the good in the world in this debut picture book written and illustrated by Baldwin, a writer with a background in film and children’s computer games. Using a basic but effective rhyme scheme—and a play on the word “raisin”—Baldwin offers a welcome message about the value of mindfulness and positivity. “The sunshine’s gone—it’s raining! That’s a raisin to be sad,” says the troubled little raisin. His comforting friend suggests an alternate perspective: “Rain makes things clean and green—it’s a raisin to be glad!” And so it goes, as the sad raisin learns to find happiness in simple pleasures: blueberries, flowers, butterflies that are “flying paintings that float and flutter,” friends, fresh air, and laughter. The simple verses on each colorful, two-page spread appear to be lettered by hand. Baldwin’s cartoony raisin characters, purple and peanut-shaped, with big eyes and black arms and legs, superimposed over realistic outdoor settings of blue sky and grape vines, have an amateurish charm.

An earnest, good-hearted rhyming picture book that shows how sadness and happiness can be a matter of awareness and perspective.

Pub Date: July 12, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9988992-0-6

Page Count: 34

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Nov. 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

CINDERELLA

This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Ordinary kids in an extraordinary setting: still a recipe for bright achievements and belly laughs.

WAYSIDE SCHOOL BENEATH THE CLOUD OF DOOM

Rejoice! 25 years later, Wayside School is still in session, and the children in Mrs. Jewls’ 30th-floor classroom haven’t changed a bit.

The surreal yet oddly educational nature of their misadventures hasn’t either. There are out-and-out rib ticklers, such as a spelling lesson featuring made-up words and a determined class effort to collect 1 million nail clippings. Additionally, mean queen Kathy steps through a mirror that turns her weirdly nice and she discovers that she likes it, a four-way friendship survives a dumpster dive after lost homework, and Mrs. Jewls makes sure that a long-threatened “Ultimate Test” allows every student to show off a special talent. Episodic though the 30 new chapters are, there are continuing elements that bind them—even to previous outings, such as the note to an elusive teacher Calvin has been carrying since Sideways Stories From Wayside School (1978) and finally delivers. Add to that plenty of deadpan dialogue (“Arithmetic makes my brain numb,” complains Dameon. “That’s why they’re called ‘numb-ers,’ ” explains D.J.) and a wild storm from the titular cloud that shuffles the school’s contents “like a deck of cards,” and Sachar once again dishes up a confection as scrambled and delicious as lunch lady Miss Mush’s improvised “Rainbow Stew.” Diversity is primarily conveyed in the illustrations.

Ordinary kids in an extraordinary setting: still a recipe for bright achievements and belly laughs. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-296538-7

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more