DAISY COMES HOME

This popular author visits Asia for a charming tale of a plucky hen. Daisy knows she is loved—young Mei Mei has the six happiest hens in China—but she is tired of being pecked at by the other hens and driven from their cozy perch at night. One wet evening she curls up in one of Mei Mei’s market baskets, with its red Chinese characters reading “happy hens.” But the river takes the basket, and Daisy awakens to find herself far from Mei Mei. She fends off a dog, a water buffalo, and a pack of monkeys in a banyan tree, but is captured by a fisherman who sees his dinner in her plumpness. Mei Mei, after searching all over for Daisy, finally takes her eggs to market where she finds the fisherman who cries “Finders keepers!” Calling her chicken, Mei Mei whisks her away from the fisherman, taking her back to her perch where she uses what she’s learned to secure her place. Brett’s (Hedgie’s Surprise, 2000, etc.) brilliantly colored gouache and watercolor illustrations are pleasingly complex. Each double-page spread is framed by corner pieces edged in bamboo, with vignettes that reflect other action happening in the story at the same time as the main picture. Borders, backgrounds, and basketry patterns reflect many kinds of Asian decorative arts. Even the mountains and trees are often shaped like animals familiar to Brett fans. The hens are attractive and dignified, not anthropomorphized at all, yet individually drawn. The lesson of standing up for oneself is very gently etched in a read-aloud that will reward lots of poring over pictures. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-399-23618-X

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2001

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ROOM ON THE BROOM

Each time the witch loses something in the windy weather, she and her cat are introduced to a new friend who loves flying on her broom. The fluid rhyming and smooth rhythm work together with one repetitive plot element focusing young attention spans until the plot quickens. (“Is there room on the broom for a blank such as me?”) When the witch’s broom breaks, she is thrown in to danger and the plot flies to the finish. Her friends—cat, dog, frog, and bird—are not likely to scare the dragon who plans on eating the witch, but together they form a formidable, gooey, scary-sounding monster. The use of full-page or even page-and-a-half spreads for many of the illustrations will ensure its successful use in story times as well as individual readings. The wart-nosed witch and her passengers make magic that is sure to please. Effective use of brilliant colors set against well-conceived backgrounds detail the story without need for text—but with it, the story—and the broom—take off. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-8037-2557-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2001

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Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with...

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CREEPY PAIR OF UNDERWEAR!

Reynolds and Brown have crafted a Halloween tale that balances a really spooky premise with the hilarity that accompanies any mention of underwear.

Jasper Rabbit needs new underwear. Plain White satisfies him until he spies them: “Creepy underwear! So creepy! So comfy! They were glorious.” The underwear of his dreams is a pair of radioactive-green briefs with a Frankenstein face on the front, the green color standing out all the more due to Brown’s choice to do the entire book in grayscale save for the underwear’s glowing green…and glow they do, as Jasper soon discovers. Despite his “I’m a big rabbit” assertion, that glow creeps him out, so he stuffs them in the hamper and dons Plain White. In the morning, though, he’s wearing green! He goes to increasing lengths to get rid of the glowing menace, but they don’t stay gone. It’s only when Jasper finally admits to himself that maybe he’s not such a big rabbit after all that he thinks of a clever solution to his fear of the dark. Brown’s illustrations keep the backgrounds and details simple so readers focus on Jasper’s every emotion, writ large on his expressive face. And careful observers will note that the underwear’s expression also changes, adding a bit more creep to the tale.

Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with Dr. Seuss’ tale of animate, empty pants. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4424-0298-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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