An affectionate tribute to some of New York City’s iconic residents and institutions.

THE LIONS AT NIGHT

Patience and Fortitude slip off their plinths in front of the New York Public Library for a Coney Island jaunt.

Joining the gallery of artists who have brought the library’s lions to life, Boehman crafts a wordless sojourn featuring a pair of big cats who turn yellow when the sun goes down. Positively aglow with smiling bonhomie as well as color, they ride the F train (visible to children, unnoticed by the grown-ups) into Brooklyn for a night of fun. In a mix of full-page or -spread illustrations and large sequential panels, the New York scenes start out primarily in monochrome but switch to glittering hues as the lions, sometimes going on two legs, sometimes on four, enjoy hot dogs and ice cream under the bright lights, win a big pink plush bear, ride the Cyclone, visit the beach and the aquarium, and finally make their way back to the subway and home. There, they are greeted by a descendant of their original designer, Edward Clark Potter, illustrated as a dapper librarian who reads them a story and adds the bear to a pile of stuffed toys in his office while the lions climb back onto their perches in the brightening dawn. The art features glimpses of familiar book titles as well as plenty of accurately rendered local details and properly diverse city residents (Potter is white). The illustrator’s closing note fills in historical background on the lions and their creators.

An affectionate tribute to some of New York City’s iconic residents and institutions. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-937054-78-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: The RoadRunner Press

Review Posted Online: March 5, 2019

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This story covers the few days preceding the much-anticipated Midnight Zombie Walk, when Stink and company will take to the...

STINK AND THE MIDNIGHT ZOMBIE WALK

From the Stink series

An all-zombie-all-the-time zombiefest, featuring a bunch of grade-school kids, including protagonist Stink and his happy comrades.

This story covers the few days preceding the much-anticipated Midnight Zombie Walk, when Stink and company will take to the streets in the time-honored stiff-armed, stiff-legged fashion. McDonald signals her intent on page one: “Stink and Webster were playing Attack of the Knitting Needle Zombies when Fred Zombie’s eye fell off and rolled across the floor.” The farce is as broad as the Atlantic, with enough spookiness just below the surface to provide the all-important shivers. Accompanied by Reynolds’ drawings—dozens of scene-setting gems with good, creepy living dead—McDonald shapes chapters around zombie motifs: making zombie costumes, eating zombie fare at school, reading zombie books each other to reach the one-million-minutes-of-reading challenge. When the zombie walk happens, it delivers solid zombie awfulness. McDonald’s feel-good tone is deeply encouraging for readers to get up and do this for themselves because it looks like so much darned fun, while the sub-message—that reading grows “strong hearts and minds,” as well as teeth and bones—is enough of a vital interest to the story line to be taken at face value.

Pub Date: March 13, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7636-5692-8

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2012

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Very young gardeners will need more information, but for certain picky eaters, the suggested strategy just might work.

SYLVIA'S SPINACH

A young spinach hater becomes a spinach lover after she has to grow her own in a class garden.

Unable to trade away the seed packet she gets from her teacher for tomatoes, cukes or anything else more palatable, Sylvia reluctantly plants and nurtures a pot of the despised veggie then transplants it outside in early spring. By the end of school, only the plot’s lettuce, radishes and spinach are actually ready to eat (talk about a badly designed class project!)—and Sylvia, once she nerves herself to take a nibble, discovers that the stuff is “not bad.” She brings home an armful and enjoys it from then on in every dish: “And that was the summer Sylvia Spivens said yes to spinach.” Raff uses unlined brushwork to give her simple cartoon illustrations a pleasantly freehand, airy look, and though Pryor skips over the (literally, for spinach) gritty details in both the story and an afterword, she does cover gardening basics in a simple and encouraging way.

Very young gardeners will need more information, but for certain picky eaters, the suggested strategy just might work. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-9836615-1-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Readers to Eaters

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2012

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