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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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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An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some...

RALPH TELLS A STORY

With a little help from his audience, a young storyteller gets over a solid case of writer’s block in this engaging debut.

Despite the (sometimes creatively spelled) examples produced by all his classmates and the teacher’s assertion that “Stories are everywhere!” Ralph can’t get past putting his name at the top of his paper. One day, lying under the desk in despair, he remembers finding an inchworm in the park. That’s all he has, though, until his classmates’ questions—“Did it feel squishy?” “Did your mom let you keep it?” “Did you name it?”—open the floodgates for a rousing yarn featuring an interloping toddler, a broad comic turn and a dramatic rescue. Hanlon illustrates the episode with childlike scenes done in transparent colors, featuring friendly-looking children with big smiles and widely spaced button eyes. The narrative text is printed in standard type, but the children’s dialogue is rendered in hand-lettered printing within speech balloons. The episode is enhanced with a page of elementary writing tips and the tantalizing titles of his many subsequent stories (“When I Ate Too Much Spaghetti,” “The Scariest Hamster,” “When the Librarian Yelled Really Loud at Me,” etc.) on the back endpapers.

An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some budding young writers off and running. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2012

ISBN: 978-0761461807

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Amazon Children's Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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