PETER SPIT A SEED AT SUE

This slapstick farce bounces along in rollicking rhyme accompanied by exaggerated cartoon-style illustrations featuring round-cheeked, wide-eyed characters sporting skinny extremities and outsized feet. The plot is simple: Four bored kids perk up a hot summer day by spitting watermelon seeds at one another. The action escalates when they take their battle to the village square and others get involved. The stern mayor’s appearance threatens to shut down the fun until she suddenly picks up a cream pie and lets it fly. Manders’s style suits the brisk text, which uses occasional typeface changes to enhance the rhythm. Although the farmer’s rattletrap truck and the idyllic village setting suggest an earlier time, the backwards cap on Peter’s head and a reference to “dudes in business suits” set the story squarely in the present. Light as a pie and sweet as melon, this slight story should find an enthusiastic audience with parents and grandparents nostalgic for a simpler, sillier time, who will enjoy sharing the fun with young listeners. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-670-06309-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2008

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ONE BEAN

PLB 0-8027-8649-9 The simple life cycle of a bean provides a practical and understandable example of scientific observation for budding young naturalists. Starting with a hand shown holding a single bean, readers journey full circle from soaking, planting, and watering, to flowering, harvesting, and eating. Uncluttered three-dimensional artwork complements the short, simple text; each stage of the bean’s transformation from seed to vegetable is shown in large scale, drawn so realistically that the texture of the skin seems to show the strain as the bean gets ready to put down roots. This is an ideal book for classrooms where students can’t resist the temptation to keep “checking” on their bean plants. (Picture book/nonfiction. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-8027-8648-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Walker

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1998

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TOO MANY TOYS

Spencer owns a multitude of toys: old toys and new ones, big toys and small ones, bath toys, wooden toys, board games, computer games, miniature cars and trucks, musical instruments, stuffed animals and action figures. They are everywhere, including on the floor where his parents can trip on them. One day, Spencer’s mom has had enough and announces that some of the toys have to go. Shaken, Spencer cries, “BUT I LOVE THEM ALL!” There’s no stopping Spencer’s mom, however, who says she will help and proves to be a worthy adversary when Spencer attempts to make deals. Snappy dialogue and an absolutely on-target understanding of the psyches of both mother and child make the negotiation scene absolutely priceless. Will they both make it through the harrowing task before them? The elaborate, child-friendly pictures perfectly capture Spencer’s world, zeroing in on the chaos with glee and then pulling back to demonstrate graphically the traumas suffered by both adults and child in the process. Shannon’s sardonic wit will strike a chord with parents and children alike. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-439-49029-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2008

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