Teachers and parents eager for their children to experience the world in a different way will be thrilled.

COLD, CRUNCHY, COLORFUL

USING OUR SENSES

Brocket’s latest in the Clever Concepts series uses photographs to explore the five senses.

The text explains the five senses in a way even the youngest of readers can understand, and it’s paired with simple photos that highlight just what the text is mentioning but that are also full of patterns, shapes, colors and textures. They highlight everyday sights and objects with new angles and perspectives that will have kids looking around on walks in the neighborhood—plants, architectural details, rocks and flowers are prominently featured. We use our eyes to see colors, read books, discern patterns; our ears to hear; we feel with our hands, our feet, our skin; our noses smell things that are nice but also things that are not so nice—garbage, for instance. “We use our tongues to taste…. // We can taste many flavors. Juicy cherries, spicy chilies, and jammy cookies. / Oily, salty fish. Fluffy vanilla frosting. Cool, minty toothpaste.” Brocket concludes by pointing out that we often use more than one sense at a time—eating a crunchy pretzel twist uses all five senses at once—and two pages of photo collages challenge readers to name which senses are in use in each.

Teachers and parents eager for their children to experience the world in a different way will be thrilled. (Informational picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4677-0233-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Jan. 8, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2014

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While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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A comical, fresh look at crayons and color

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THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT

Duncan wants to draw, but instead of crayons, he finds a stack of letters listing the crayons’ demands in this humorous tale.

Red is overworked, laboring even on holidays. Gray is exhausted from coloring expansive spaces (elephants, rhinos and whales). Black wants to be considered a color-in color, and Peach? He’s naked without his wrapper! This anthropomorphized lot amicably requests workplace changes in hand-lettered writing, explaining their work stoppage to a surprised Duncan. Some are tired, others underutilized, while a few want official titles. With a little creativity and a lot of color, Duncan saves the day. Jeffers delivers energetic and playful illustrations, done in pencil, paint and crayon. The drawings are loose and lively, and with few lines, he makes his characters effectively emote. Clever spreads, such as Duncan’s “white cat in the snow” perfectly capture the crayons’ conundrum, and photographic representations of both the letters and coloring pages offer another layer of texture, lending to the tale’s overall believability.

A comical, fresh look at crayons and color . (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-399-25537-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

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