These fruits do not make a large enough splash in the pool; for the best fruit in the basket, check out the old favorite,...

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FRUITS IN SUITS

Chapman (Vegetables in Underwear, 2015) is back with digital illustrations featuring anthropomorphic fruits.

The front endpapers identify each fruit by name (pineapple, grapefruit, cherry, apple, etc.) as it stands fully clothed, looking uncomfortable, especially a squalling baby pomegranate; the rear endpapers show the same fruits looking comfortable and happy in their swimsuits. Most of the vividly colored fruits shown are common and familiar, and most of them are wearing swimsuits (both the boy and girl kind), but although the all-caps text points out that “there are all kinds of suits,” it does not identify any of them by name, just by style or function. Oddly, there is not any mention of the word “swimsuit.” The cheerful strawberry narrator, wearing a red-and-green polka-dot swimsuit, explains to the grapefruit wearing a business suit that “If you want to go swimming you need a suit.” Although the picture of the baby pomegranate swimming in her “birthday suit” will elicit some giggles, kids may find it difficult to differentiate between a suit “for sunbathing” and a suit “for the shade” (for the shade?), a suit “for scuba” and a suit “for surfing” when worn by a brightly colored cartoon fruit with stick arms and legs.

These fruits do not make a large enough splash in the pool; for the best fruit in the basket, check out the old favorite, Sexton Freymann and Joost Elffers’ How Are You Peeling? (2004). (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 11, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2298-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: abramsappleseed

Review Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2017

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It’s a bit hard to dance, or count, to this beat.

ONE MORE DINO ON THE FLOOR

Dinos that love to move and groove get children counting from one to 10—and perhaps moving to the beat.

Beginning with a solo bop by a female dino (she has eyelashes, doncha know), the dinosaur dance party begins. Each turn of the page adds another dino and a change in the dance genre: waltz, country line dancing, disco, limbo, square dancing, hip-hop, and swing. As the party would be incomplete without the moonwalk, the T. Rex does the honors…and once they are beyond their initial panic at his appearance, the onlookers cheer wildly. The repeated refrain on each spread allows for audience participation, though it doesn’t easily trip off the tongue: “They hear a swish. / What’s this? / One more? / One more dino on the floor.” Some of the prehistoric beasts are easily identifiable—pterodactyl, ankylosaurus, triceratops—but others will be known only to the dino-obsessed; none are identified, other than T-Rex. Packed spreads filled with psychedelically colored dinos sporting blocks of color, stripes, or polka dots (and infectious looks of joy) make identification even more difficult, to say nothing of counting them. Indeed, this fails as a counting primer: there are extra animals (and sometimes a grumpy T-Rex) in the backgrounds, and the next dino to join the party pokes its head into the frame on the page before. Besides all that, most kids won’t get the dance references.

It’s a bit hard to dance, or count, to this beat. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8075-1598-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2016

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This deeply satisfying story offers what all children crave when letting go—security and a trusted companion.

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SLEEP LIKE A TIGER

The stages and script preceding this child’s passage into dreamland are so appealing they will surely inspire imitation.

When the protagonist announces that she is not sleepy, her wise parents counter that they are not requiring sleep, only pajama-wearing, face-washing and teeth-brushing. She then feels so good that “she loved / …stretching her toes / down under the crisp sheets, / lying as still as an otter / floating in a stream.” Logue’s words lull and caress as parents and child converse about how and where animals sleep. (Many appeared on earlier pages as toys.) Alone, the youngster replays each scene, inserting herself; the cozy images help her relax. Zagarenski’s exquisite compositions are rendered digitally and in mixed-media on wood, offering much to ponder. The paintings are luminous, from the child’s starry pajamas to the glowing whale supporting her sleep journey. Transparent layers, blending patterns, complex textures and wheeled objects add to the sense of gentle movement. The tiger, both the beloved cloth version and the real deal, is featured prominently; it is the child who contributes this example, narrating the connection between strength and rest. When sleep arrives, the stuffed animal is cradled in her arms; she leans against the jungle beast, and he clings to her doll.

This deeply satisfying story offers what all children crave when letting go—security and a trusted companion. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-547-64102-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Aug. 8, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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