ANDREW’S BRIGHT BLUE T-SHIRT

Clothes make the man, or in this case a young fox, in newcomer Wollman’s tale of an identity stitched into the fabric of a hand-me-down shirt. Andrew’s brother Ernie has given him a bright-blue T-shirt emblazoned with a soccer ball. Andrew worships his older brother and his prowess on the soccer field. He looks forward to the day when he is big enough to join him. For the time being, the shirt will serve as his hopes and dreams and he never intends to take it off (though his mother does demand washing it once a week). But Andrew is growing and the T-shirt isn’t. Soon enough his belly is poking out. Still, Andrew isn’t about to forsake his talisman; it might look comical, yet it has just the kind of mojo needed as he practices his dribbling, blocking, and kicking that he has seen his brother do out on the field. Comes the day when Andrew has a chance to show his soccer skills; all that practice and all that growing has given him what it takes, and it has also given him the security to doff the T-shirt: no epiphany, simply the realization—and the kind of positive reinforcement conducive to such a gesture—that it is time to move on. Lopez Escriva’s (Please Do Feed the Bears, p. 738, etc.) homey art gives Andrew the right measure of credulity and determination. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2002

ISBN: 0-385-74616-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2002

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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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SKELETON HICCUPS

Who hasn’t shared the aggravation of a whole day’s worth of bone-rattling hiccups? Poor Skeleton wakes up with a deadly case that he can’t shake, and it’s up to his friend Ghost to think of something to scare them away. Cuyler (Stop, Drop, and Roll, 2001, etc.) cleverly brings readers through the ups and downs of Skeleton’s day, from shower to ball-playing. Home folk remedies (holding his breath, eating sugar) don’t seem to work, but Ghost applies a new perspective startling enough to unhinge listeners and Skeleton alike. While the concept is clever, it’s Schindler’s (How Santa Lost His Job, 2001, etc.) paintings, done with gouache, ink, and watercolor, that carry the day, showing Skeleton’s own unique problems—water pours out of his hollow eyes when he drinks it upside down, his teeth spin out of his head when he brushes them—that make a joke of the circumstances. Oversized spreads open the scene to read-aloud audiences, but hold intimate details for sharp eyes—monster slippers, sugar streaming through the hollow body. For all the hiccupping, this outing has a quiet feel not up to the standards of some of Cuyler’s earlier books, but the right audience will enjoy its fun. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-689-84770-X

Page Count: 32

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2002

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