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Mother-and-son team Yolen and Stemple follow up Color Me a Rhyme (2000) with this engaging counting book. Throughout, Yolen’s verse is matched with Stemple’s full-color photographs of animals. The pairings are organic: In “Eight Bighorn Sheep,” two, skinny vertical lines of text, side-by-side, mimic Stemple’s image of sheep ascending a rocky cliff. “Nine Swallows: A Haiku” is illustrated by nine little birds on a telephone line against a solid blue sky. The numbers one to ten are the focus, but the final poem, “Many,” pays homage to the infinite wonder of numbers and nature. Numerals, Roman numerals and related words (e.g., octave, ninth) accompany each poem. Readers will enjoy counting the creatures that appear on each spread. Many, no doubt, will memorize the enchanting verse. (Picture book. 10-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 15, 2006

ISBN: 1-59078-345-X

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2006

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Bishop’s spectacular photographs of the tiny red-eyed tree frog defeat an incidental text from Cowley (Singing Down the Rain, 1997, etc.). The frog, only two inches long, is enormous in this title; it appears along with other nocturnal residents of the rain forests of Central America, including the iguana, ant, katydid, caterpillar, and moth. In a final section, Cowley explains how small the frog is and aspects of its life cycle. The main text, however, is an afterthought to dramatic events in the photos, e.g., “But the red-eyed tree frog has been asleep all day. It wakes up hungry. What will it eat? Here is an iguana. Frogs do not eat iguanas.” Accompanying an astonishing photograph of the tree frog leaping away from a boa snake are three lines (“The snake flicks its tongue. It tastes frog in the air. Look out, frog!”) that neither advance nor complement the action. The layout employs pale and deep green pages and typeface, and large jewel-like photographs in which green and red dominate. The combination of such visually sophisticated pages and simplistic captions make this a top-heavy, unsatisfying title. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-590-87175-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1999

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From the Delphine series , Vol. 2

Less charming than the opener but does feature a thimbleful of moral quandary at its center.

Armed only with her magical sewing needle, foundling mouse Delphine sets out to confront the cruel rat king in this duology closer.

As vicious rat armies pillage the mouse realms in search of her and her pointy, long-hidden treasure, Delphine finds herself waging an inner war that parallels the outer one. According to dusty documents and other reputable sources, the needle’s good powers can be perverted, but she sees no other way except killing to stop evil rat King Midnight. While struggling with a grim determination to go over to the dark side that sets her at odds with her own fundamentally loving nature, Delphine threads her way along with loyal allies past various scrapes—only to come, climactically, face to face with not only her nemesis, but her own past. Moon stitches in flashbacks to fill out the details of a tragic old love triangle that reaches its fruition here and sews her tale up with a return to Château Desjardins just in time for Cinderella’s wedding and a celebratory rodentine ball in the chandelier overhead, and she leaves a fringe of epilogue hinting at further installments to come.

Less charming than the opener but does feature a thimbleful of moral quandary at its center. (secret codes) (Animal fantasy. 10-12)

Pub Date: March 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-368-04833-0

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2021

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