GRANDMA IS A SLOWPOKE

A sweet celebration of intergenerational slowpokery

An unnamed little girl likes to go on long walks across the countryside with her grandmother…but Grandma, who walks with a cane, is a slowpoke.

As they set out, they hear bird song; it turns out to be cardinals, and the duo whistles back to the birds. Then Grandma stops to point out ants carrying large seeds. They spend a long time watching rabbits in the grass. When they walk on, they see brown squirrels in a tree, which makes the girl think it would be fun to live there. They see bathing ducks. They count baby geese. And they watch muskrats swim in the river until the fireflies come. When they return after dark, the girl says, “We saw so-o-o-o-o much!...It was fun being slowpokes together.” Halfmann’s nature walk from a child’s perspective is spot-on, neatly capturing the grandparent-grandchild dynamic. The accompanying animal facts at the close, several about each of the animals encountered, will interest young naturalists. Coxon’s full-bleed illustrations are more successful with the animals than the people, who look stiff and posed; the realistic animals and habitats are meticulously detailed, and the interiors of the country house are cozy. The child wears glasses; she and her family are all white.

A sweet celebration of intergenerational slowpokery . (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-59572-710-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Star Bright

Review Posted Online: Dec. 7, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2015

CINDERELLA

From the Once Upon a World series

A nice but not requisite purchase.

A retelling of the classic fairy tale in board-book format and with a Mexican setting.

Though simplified for a younger audience, the text still relates the well-known tale: mean-spirited stepmother, spoiled stepsisters, overworked Cinderella, fairy godmother, glass slipper, charming prince, and, of course, happily-ever-after. What gives this book its flavor is the artwork. Within its Mexican setting, the characters are olive-skinned and dark-haired. Cultural references abound, as when a messenger comes carrying a banner announcing a “FIESTA” in beautiful papel picado. Cinderella is the picture of beauty, with her hair up in ribbons and flowers and her typically Mexican many-layered white dress. The companion volume, Snow White, set in Japan and illustrated by Misa Saburi, follows the same format. The simplified text tells the story of the beautiful princess sent to the forest by her wicked stepmother to be “done away with,” the dwarves that take her in, and, eventually, the happily-ever-after ending. Here too, what gives the book its flavor is the artwork. The characters wear traditional clothing, and the dwarves’ house has the requisite shoji screens, tatami mats and cherry blossoms in the garden. The puzzling question is, why the board-book presentation? Though the text is simplified, it’s still beyond the board-book audience, and the illustrations deserve full-size books.

A nice but not requisite purchase. (Board book/fairy tale. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-7915-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 11, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

I'LL LOVE YOU FOREVER

Parent-child love and affection, appealingly presented, with the added attraction of the seasonal content and lack of gender...

A polar-bear parent speaks poetically of love for a child.

A genderless adult and cub travel through the landscapes of an arctic year. Each of the softly rendered double-page paintings has a very different feel and color palette as the pair go through the seasons, walking through wintry ice and snow and green summer meadows, cavorting in the blue ocean, watching whales, and playing beside musk oxen. The rhymes of the four-line stanzas are not forced, as is the case too often in picture books of this type: “When cold, winter winds / blow the leaves far and wide, / You’ll cross the great icebergs / with me by your side.” On a dark, snowy night, the loving parent says: “But for now, cuddle close / while the stars softly shine. // I’ll always be yours, / and you’ll always be mine.” As the last illustration shows the pair curled up for sleep, young listeners will be lulled to sweet dreams by the calm tenor of the pictures and the words. While far from original, this timeless theme is always in demand, and the combination of delightful illustrations and poetry that scans well make this a good choice for early-childhood classrooms, public libraries, and one-on-one home read-alouds.

Parent-child love and affection, appealingly presented, with the added attraction of the seasonal content and lack of gender restrictions. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-68010-070-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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