A jovial, sunny story with a slightly unusual interpretation of the role of rabbits in Easter celebrations.

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WAKE UP, IT'S EASTER

This pleasant, rhyming story was first published in Switzerland, adapted from a children’s poem that describes several animals working together to alert all the rabbits that Easter is coming.

In the introductory pages, Mr. Croak the raven flies down to tell Vicki Vole that Easter is coming. She spruces up for the holiday “as all good creatures do” and then sets off to find her friend Rob Rabbit. He appears to be in bed recovering from a cold, but he bounds up and takes off in a hurry to spread the news to the other rabbits about Easter’s impending arrival. The final spread shows several rabbits at a distance romping across a green field with tiny eggs just visible hidden among the spring flowers. Mr. Croak and Vicki Vole enjoy a cup of tea together as one rabbit approaches them with baskets of decorated eggs. The story could not be much slighter, and the rhymes are sometimes a little sing-song, but the pleasant, cheery tone of the text is matched by soft-focus illustrations in bright, jewel tones against azure blue skies.

A jovial, sunny story with a slightly unusual interpretation of the role of rabbits in Easter celebrations. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7358-4070-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: NorthSouth

Review Posted Online: Feb. 15, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2012

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Nevertheless, children will enjoy the whimsical scenes, and adult mavens of children’s literature will appreciate and...

GOODNIGHT SONGS

ILLUSTRATED BY TWELVE AWARD-WINNING PICTURE BOOK ARTISTS

It’s a treasure trove: one dozen previously unpublished lyrical songs illustrated by the likes of Jonathan Bean, Carin Berger and Melissa Sweet.

In an introduction, estate editor Amy Gary explains how she found a trunk in Brown’s sister’s barn filled with unpublished manuscripts with Brown’s handwritten notes along with musical scores of her words. They were written in 1952, the last year of her life, when she was traveling in France for a book tour and under contract to create songs for a new children’s record company. Brown’s intent was to capture the spirit of a child’s world in her songs as she had done with her stories. As the opening to “The Secret Song” demonstrates, the simple rhymes have Brown’s trademark charm: “Who saw the petals / Drop from the rose? / ‘I,’ said the spider. / ‘But nobody knows.’ / Who saw the sunset / Flash on a bird? / ‘I,’ said the fish. / ‘But nobody heard.’ ” Each song is presented on one double-page spread, each illustrated by a different artist (uncredited until an ending recap), in a rather staid book design that does not rise to meet the buoyancy of the lyrics.

Nevertheless, children will enjoy the whimsical scenes, and adult mavens of children’s literature will appreciate and delight in the background of the discovery. (CD) (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4549-0446-5

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: Jan. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2014

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MOTHER GOOSE PICTURE PUZZLES

Hillenbrand introduces the idea of rebuses to newly emergent readers with a gathering of likely-to-be-familiar Mother Goose rhymes—from “Hey diddle, diddle, / the [cat] and the [fiddle]” to “Twinkle, twinkle, little [star].” To make the translations ultra-easy, he provides literal visual interpretations for each rhyme in good-humored cartoon scenes featuring smiling people or animals, generally in country dress and settings. (He moderates verisimilitude for the audience appropriately: Jill’s fallen male companion and Humpty Dumpty are unhappy after their accidents but plainly not grievously injured.) He even labels the relevant figures, all of whom or which are larger versions of the rebuses: “cake,” “baker’s man” and “baby,” for instance, or “hill,” “pail,” “water” and “crown (another word for top of head).” As a technique for promoting visual and verbal literacy at once this game has a good track record, and young audiences put off by the crudely illustrated likes of Blanche Fisher Wright’s Real Mother Goose Picture Word Rhymes (1916, 1987) or the much older Mother Goose in Hieroglyphics (1849, 1973) will both enjoy and benefit from this shorter but more child-friendly outing. (Nursery rhymes. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7614-5808-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2011

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