A PIECE OF CHALK

A little girl uses her driveway as a canvas, and makes a masterpiece with her box of chalk. A bright sunny day and a brand new chalk box, “with long perfect sticks all smooth and dusty,” are enough to stimulate her artistic impulses. Going through the colors one by one, Ericsson’s text has a poetic feel, and not the usual tight rhyme but a lovely lyricism: “I take a piece of grass, a spring green one, green is the grass, sprouting near the wall.” Just as she finishes her picture, with a gray cloud, it starts to rain. The colors run together and she finds . . . two rainbows! One’s in the sky and the other at her feet. Shapiro’s simple illustrations capture the rough shapes and textures of the little girl’s artwork against its more polished background. A simple, powerful message in a simple, powerful setting. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-1-59643-057-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Neal Porter/Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2007

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DIM SUM FOR EVERYONE!

Dim sum is the perfect tea party for children because of the tasty, small dishes on teacarts from which to choose. Here, a little girl narrates a simple story of the delicious meal she shares with her family. Turnip cakes, fried shrimp, sweet pork buns, and sweet tofu are all chosen, and lastly, the narrator selects egg tarts. As each child selects from a cart, the perspective changes to focus on the chooser. The bright red restaurant rug is the background color for every page, setting off the silver carts with their goodies and the bright, patterned colors of the people’s clothes. The yellow letters of the text at times curve to match the tables in the picture or appear a little off to the side so as not to interfere with the visual image. One particularly effective spread steps back and shows a half-dozen tables all filled with little dishes and the silver carts wending their way through them; the pattern is delightful. A history of the origins of dim sum and its popularity today is described in an epilogue. The bright green endpapers are decorated at the front with food, condiments, and tableware while the back endpapers depict almost two dozen dim sum dishes. A delightful read-aloud, sure to please those children who have enjoyed dim sum and a fascinating adventure for those who have yet to experience it. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 10, 2001

ISBN: 978-0-440-41770-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2001

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SAY HELLO!

Today Carmelita visits her Abuela Rosa, but to get there she must walk. Down Ninth Avenue she strolls with her mother and dog. Colorful shops and congenial neighbors greet them along the way, and at each stop Carmelita says hello—in Spanish, Arabic, Hebrew and more. With a friendly “Jambo” for Joseph, a “Bonjour” at the bakery and an affectionate “Hey” for Max and Angel, the pig-tailed girl happily exercises her burgeoning multilingual skills. Her world is a vibrant community, where neighborliness, camaraderie and culture are celebrated. Isadora’s collaged artwork, reminiscent of Ezra Jack Keats, contains lovely edges and imperfections, which abet the feeling of an urban environment. Skillfully, she draws with her scissors, the cut-paper elements acting as her line work. Everything has a texture and surface, and with almost no solid colors, the city street is realized as a real, organic place. Readers will fall for the sociable Carmelita as they proudly learn a range of salutations, and the artist’s rich environment, packed with hidden details and charming animals, will delight readers with each return visit. Simply enchanting. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-399-25230-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2010

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