Ironically, whereas Yolen takes time off from her self-consciously exquisite fairy tales for the sort of precious but diminutive bauble you'd associate with Zalben, the illustrator suits her style to Yolen's usual elegance. Though it looks longer, the text is mainly a series of ten couplets—from "One little mouse in great distress/ Looks all over for a floor-length dress" to "Ten little porcupines set up a racket,/ As they fight for the velvet evening jacket"—in which various small creatures search, sort, clamor and wail for specific items of clothing to wear to the butterfly ball for which a winged little elfin figure delivers invitations. But as each new set of animals is introduced all the previous lines are reiterated, and Yolen adds two final lines bringing them all to their destination: "Knock knock. . . Who's come to call?/WE HAVE! We've all come to the Butterfly Ball." Zalben's delicate fine line animals scurry in preparation—and cavort on arrival—within, amidst and upon rainbow colored swirls, patterened numerals and sheer decoration. Her watercolors do clothe the whole enterprise in finery well suited to such an occasion; the question is whether Yolen offers enough entertainment to justify the fancy dress.

Pub Date: March 1, 1976

ISBN: 1563976927

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Parents Magazine Press

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1976

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Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere.

1001 BEES

This book is buzzing with trivia.

Follow a swarm of bees as they leave a beekeeper’s apiary in search of a new home. As the scout bees traverse the fields, readers are provided with a potpourri of facts and statements about bees. The information is scattered—much like the scout bees—and as a result, both the nominal plot and informational content are tissue-thin. There are some interesting facts throughout the book, but many pieces of trivia are too, well trivial, to prove useful. For example, as the bees travel, readers learn that “onion flowers are round and fluffy” and “fennel is a plant that is used in cooking.” Other facts are oversimplified and as a result are not accurate. For example, monofloral honey is defined as “made by bees who visit just one kind of flower” with no acknowledgment of the fact that bees may range widely, and swarm activity is described as a springtime event, when it can also occur in summer and early fall. The information in the book, such as species identification and measurement units, is directed toward British readers. The flat, thin-lined artwork does little to enhance the story, but an “I spy” game challenging readers to find a specific bee throughout is amusing.

Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere. (Informational picture book. 8-10)

Pub Date: May 18, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-500-65265-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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With minimal text and bright-color illustrations, Crews captures the essence of a plane journey."Boarding. . . Take off. . .Flying over cities. . .Flying into the clouds. . . Time to head down. . ."—the brief captions are hardly needed to accompany the 16 double-spread illustrations showing a small, propeller, driven plane on its way from city to city, day to night. With buildings and vehicles resembling simple wooden toys, the bold, sunny illustrations can be "read" by the youngest. Crews' style has become familiar, through several fine books; this is a worthy companion to the award-winning Freight Train and Truck.

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 1986

ISBN: 0688092357

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: April 19, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1986

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