CARLO LIKES COLORS

After reading and counting, Carlo the cartoon giraffe explores yet another topic with preschoolers. As the curious young giraffe and his pals visit different locales, they see many colorful things. “Carlo sees yellow in the field.” The color yellow dominates this two-page spread, and various yellow objects sport a prominent tie-on tag that names them. In his wanderings, Carlo sees all the colors of the rainbow, plus black, white, and pink (although blue is rather short-changed). The colors draw children onward and keep them searching for more objects that match, making the lack of any real plot irrelevant. But this also makes the final page (“Carlo likes beeping” as he chases the cat) stand out like a sore thumb, as it is completely off course. Is this a clue to the next topic? The large font of the main text and the nametags serve preschoolers well, drawing their attention to the correct color while identifying its name in the text. Readers will delight in the simple, but detailed cartoon drawings. Spanyol creates a nice balance between rural and urban scenes in her illustrations. Youngsters will easily identify with the cute Carlo; from his artwork and pool ring, to his Mom and Dad and rubber galoshes, he is all kid. A great book for color recognition, though you might have to make up your own ending. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-7636-2023-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2003

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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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ROADWORK

Sutton’s latest is a truck-lover’s dream come true—repetition, rhyme and onomatopoeia form the text, while construction trucks vie for readers’ attention in the illustrations. The result is a wonderfully noisy look at how roads are built. From a line on a map and an empty field to the finished road complete with lights and signs, youngsters will be able to follow all the steps, learning all the vehicles that take part in the process (a final page introduces readers to each one). “Pack the ground. Pack the ground. / Roll one way, then back. / Make the roadbed good and hard. / Clang! Crunch! Crack!” Lovelock’s debut certainly makes an impression. His pigmented ink illustrations keep the focus on the machines and the individual parts they play in building the road. The level of detail matches the text’s intended audience—enough to satisfy, not so much as to overwhelm. Pave the way to this book’s shelf; perfect for read-alouds, it will be a hit whether shared with a group or one-on-one. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: July 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-7636-3912-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2008

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