Frothy and fun, Nancy’s latest adventure feels as fresh as her first appearance.

FANCY NANCY AND THE WEDDING OF THE CENTURY

From the Fancy Nancy series

Given the obvious opportunities, it’s remarkable that it took O’Connor and Glasser eight years to place their pulchritudinous picture-book phenom into a wedding-themed tale—but the wait was worth it.

The setup is simple: Nancy’s uncle is getting married, and the whole family is invited. The fact that the wedding is in two weeks might give readers a clue that it’s not exactly a formal affair, but Nancy immediately assumes that: a) it will be very fancy; and b) she’ll be the flower girl. A tackle box packed into the car along with the luggage provides a second clue to the true nature of the event. Nonetheless, the author and illustrator treat readers to a vision of opulence and elegance as the family arrives at a grand hotel and celebrates in style. Turns out that’s just a dream, though, and the ultimate destination is actually a lakeside cabin. Though Uncle Cal and his fiancee, Dawn, have their own ideas about how to get hitched, Dawn is savvy enough to accept a loan from Nancy that adds a certain over-the-top element to her ensemble and satisfies Nancy’s ever present urge to make the world more beautiful. Appealing, expressive illustrations complement the text’s cheerful tone and help to keep the sweet story from becoming saccharine.

Frothy and fun, Nancy’s latest adventure feels as fresh as her first appearance. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 8, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-06-208319-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: April 30, 2014

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A hilarious autumnal comedy of errors.

THE LEAF THIEF

A confused squirrel overreacts to the falling autumn leaves.

Relaxing on a tree branch, Squirrel admires the red, gold, and orange leaves. Suddenly Squirrel screams, “One of my leaves is…MISSING!” Searching for the leaf, Squirrel tells Bird, “Someone stole my leaf!” Spying Mouse sailing in a leaf boat, Squirrel asks if Mouse stole the leaf. Mouse calmly replies in the negative. Bird reminds Squirrel it’s “perfectly normal to lose a leaf or two at this time of year.” Next morning Squirrel panics again, shrieking, “MORE LEAVES HAVE BEEN STOLEN!” Noticing Woodpecker arranging colorful leaves, Squirrel queries, “Are those my leaves?” Woodpecker tells Squirrel, “No.” Again, Bird assures Squirrel that no one’s taking the leaves and that the same thing happened last year, then encourages Squirrel to relax. Too wired to relax despite some yoga and a bath, the next day Squirrel cries “DISASTER” at the sight of bare branches. Frantic now, Squirrel becomes suspicious upon discovering Bird decorating with multicolored leaves. Is Bird the culprit? In response, Bird shows Squirrel the real Leaf Thief: the wind. Squirrel’s wildly dramatic, misguided, and hyperpossessive reaction to a routine seasonal event becomes a rib-tickling farce through clever use of varying type sizes and weights emphasizing his absurd verbal pronouncements as well as exaggerated, comic facial expressions and body language. Bold colors, arresting perspectives, and intense close-ups enhance Squirrel’s histrionics. Endnotes explain the science behind the phenomenon.

A hilarious autumnal comedy of errors. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-7282-3520-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: June 2, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2021

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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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