Another solid entry sure to attract the attention of art and math teachers alike.

READ REVIEW

SPOTTY, STRIPY, SWIRLY

WHAT ARE PATTERNS?

Patterning and ways of sorting are the focus of the third in Brocket's four-part series, and, as with her color and texture entries, her brightly colored close-up photos truly make the book.

Beginning with a definition, Brocket treats readers to a visual feast of patterns. Her up-close photos show a wide array of objects with their own distinctive patterns, from fabrics and architectural elements to food and plants. Simple arrangements of objects share a page with complex ones, and the familiar are mixed in with the new: a quilt, a candy-decorated cake, a garden full of lettuce, a dahlia, the shadow of a fence, a building’s windows, polka-dot socks. But Brocket does not stop there—she delves into the reasons for patterns. They help us identify plants, stay organized, decorate and plan, but, most of all, they are pleasing to the eye. While this entry lacks the great adjectives that made the first two in the series such standouts, the text does give children some words to help describe what they see—swirls, stripes, dots, zigzag. Brocket peppers the text with challenges that require children to identify the patterns, to look for more around them and to create their own, even pointing out how the same collection of rocks can be sorted in different ways to create different patterns.

Another solid entry sure to attract the attention of art and math teachers alike. (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7613-4613-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Jan. 18, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2012

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PERFECT SQUARE

The volume, like its subject, is a perfect square, welcoming readers into a colorful, geometric romp. Opposite a shiny red page with white type sits “a perfect [red] square. It had four matching corners and four equal sides.” On the next page, the square wears a smile, because it is “perfectly happy.” On Monday, though, the square is no longer square; someone has cut it up and had at it with a hole puncher, so those shapes arrange themselves into a fountain (with red dots as water). On Tuesday, the square is torn into orange shapes and becomes a garden with the addition of a few well-placed lines. Wednesday’s green shreds become a park, Friday’s blue ribbons turn into a river. Each day, the brilliant colors change, and the square is torn, crumpled or cut. The artist adds lines—making fish, clouds, etc.—that enable readers to see the new creation. The simple language is as perfect as the initial square. Hall’s acrylic monotypes make each iteration slightly different in texture and color, so the whole is a visual feast. The entire week comes together in a “This is the house that Jack built” way at the end, when on Sunday the square becomes a window onto all that was made. Young readers will absorb the visual lessons effortlessly and with delight. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-06-191513-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Greenwillow

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2011

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Thank you, Gerald and Piggie. We’ll miss you

THE THANK YOU BOOK

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Piggie is “one lucky pig,” and she’s determined to make sure she thanks “everyone who is important to” her in this, the final Elephant & Piggie book.

Gerald is sure his friend will forget someone—“someone important”—but Piggie assures him, “It will be a THANK-O-RAMA!” Piggie proceeds to thank the Squirrels for their great ideas, Snake for playing ball, and the Pigeon “for never giving up.” Piggie thanks and thanks: “I am a thanking machine!” She thanks character after character, even the Flies (“Any time, dude!”), as Gerald continues to interject that she’ll forget “someone VERY important.” Finally Piggie runs out of thanks, and by this time Gerald is steamed. “I goofed,” Piggie says in itty-bitty type, before lavishing thanks on Gerald. But that’s not whom Piggie forgot to thank! A classic Willems tantrum later, Gerald reveals the “someone important”: “Our reader.” Of course. “We could not be ‘us’ without you,” says Gerald, earnestly looking out from the page, and Piggie chimes in, “You are the best!” As Elephant & Piggie books go, this isn’t one of the strongest, but it is a validating valediction to fans of the two characters, who have won Willems two Geisel Medals and five Honors. Yes, Gerald and Piggie have ushered countless readers into literacy, but as they rightly note, reading is a collaborative act.

Thank you, Gerald and Piggie. We’ll miss you . (Early reader. 5-8)

Pub Date: May 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4231-7828-6

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2016

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