Zack and Zoe’s evident joy and ease in painting should inspire young Riveras and Kahlos alike to make some art of their own.

READ REVIEW

COLORS

From the Zoe and Zack series

The didactic duo Zoe the zebra and Zack the chameleon are back to teach artistically inclined toddlers the value of a varied palette.

This charming primer introduces preschoolers to six basic colors—blue, yellow, red, green, orange, and purple—as well as black and white, then demonstrates their utility in creating simple but pleasing representational images. Duquennoy has a gift for communicating simple, useful ideas to youngsters while cultivating a sense of excitement about visual expression. Here, he employs die-cut pages and inlaid acetate sheets to create surprise composite images that take shape when the page is turned and the pattern on the acetate combines with a pattern on the previous page. “Using the color blue, Zoe and Zack paint…”—here readers turn the page, so the acetate overlays the preceding page, and the blue blobs on each page combine to form—“…a seal on the ice.” With the color red, the two friends paint a fish, and with yellow, “the shining sun.” They also paint a green frog, an orange fox, a purple sea turtle, and a black wolf. On the final sheet of acetate, Zoe paints a multitude of white dots, which, readers learn upon turning the page, is snow in which the wolf can play.

Zack and Zoe’s evident joy and ease in painting should inspire young Riveras and Kahlos alike to make some art of their own. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 979-1-03630-426-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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Still, this young boy’s imagination is a powerful force for helping him deal with life, something that should be true for...

OLIVER AND HIS EGG

Oliver, of first-day-of-school alligator fame, is back, imagining adventures and still struggling to find balance between introversion and extroversion.

“When Oliver found his egg…” on the playground, mint-green backgrounds signifying Oliver’s flight into fancy slowly grow larger until they take up entire spreads; Oliver’s creature, white and dinosaurlike with orange polka dots, grows larger with them. Their adventures include sharing treats, sailing the seas and going into outer space. A classmate’s yell brings him back to reality, where readers see him sitting on top of a rock. Even considering Schmid’s scribbly style, readers can almost see the wheels turning in his head as he ponders the girl and whether or not to give up his solitary play. “But when Oliver found his rock… // Oliver imagined many adventures // with all his friends!” This last is on a double gatefold that opens to show the children enjoying the creature’s slippery curves. A final wordless spread depicts all the children sitting on rocks, expressions gleeful, wondering, waiting, hopeful. The illustrations, done in pastel pencil and digital color, again make masterful use of white space and page turns, although this tale is not nearly as funny or tongue-in-cheek as Oliver and His Alligator (2013), nor is its message as clear and immediately accessible to children.

Still, this young boy’s imagination is a powerful force for helping him deal with life, something that should be true for all children but sadly isn’t. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: July 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-7573-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2014

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