A must-have for anyone sharing books with young children—simply exquisite.

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TAKING TIME

Children around the globe marvel at the simple, stunning beauty encountered in moments of everyday life.

Author/illustrator Loring-Fisher has created something truly special with this picture book. Each double-page spread includes one line of text and a stunning mixed-media illustration. The illustrations are deeply saturated with color and respectful in their inclusive representations of multicultural children and the cultures, landscapes, and living creatures that make up their sensory worlds. The text on adjacent spreads form couplets, creating a read-aloud experience that is pleasing for both reader and listeners: “Taking time to listen to a bird’s song on the breeze. / Taking time to gather up the blossom dancing free.” The final spread shows all of the children sharing their wonderings, playing peacefully together in a beautiful green space. This image and the closing line, “Taking time to cherish you, and also cherish me,” provide a hopeful close to the book’s celebration of the natural, spontaneous mindfulness of children. The endpapers extend the options for interactivity by encouraging readers to match small details from the illustrations with each child’s home, including Alaska, Ecuador, the U.K., Norway, Russia, Egypt, Tanzania, India, Nepal, China, and Japan. Adults will benefit every bit as much as young readers (if not more!) from these reminders to pause and notice.

A must-have for anyone sharing books with young children—simply exquisite. (Picture book. 3-9)

Pub Date: April 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-911373-08-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Lantana

Review Posted Online: Jan. 21, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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A comical, fresh look at crayons and color

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THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT

Duncan wants to draw, but instead of crayons, he finds a stack of letters listing the crayons’ demands in this humorous tale.

Red is overworked, laboring even on holidays. Gray is exhausted from coloring expansive spaces (elephants, rhinos and whales). Black wants to be considered a color-in color, and Peach? He’s naked without his wrapper! This anthropomorphized lot amicably requests workplace changes in hand-lettered writing, explaining their work stoppage to a surprised Duncan. Some are tired, others underutilized, while a few want official titles. With a little creativity and a lot of color, Duncan saves the day. Jeffers delivers energetic and playful illustrations, done in pencil, paint and crayon. The drawings are loose and lively, and with few lines, he makes his characters effectively emote. Clever spreads, such as Duncan’s “white cat in the snow” perfectly capture the crayons’ conundrum, and photographic representations of both the letters and coloring pages offer another layer of texture, lending to the tale’s overall believability.

A comical, fresh look at crayons and color . (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-399-25537-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

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A riotously fresh take on breaking the fourth wall

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THE BOOK WITH NO PICTURES

This book may not have pictures, but it’s sure to inspire lots of conversations—and laughs.

Television writer, actor and comedian Novak delivers a rare find, indeed: a very good celebrity picture book. It doesn’t even seem fair to call it such, since it has nothing to do with his Emmy Award–winning writing for The Office or the fame his broader career has afforded him. The jacket flap even eschews a glossy photo, instead saying “B.J. has brown hair and blue eyes,” in order to keep with the book’s central conceit. What this book does have is text, and it’s presented through artful typography that visually conveys its changing tone to guide oral readings. Furthermore, the text implies (or rather, demands) a shared reading transaction, in which an adult is compelled to read the text aloud, no matter how “COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS” it is. Employing direct address, it pleads with the implied child listener to allow him or her to stop reading. Nonsense words, silly words to be sung and even a smattering of potty talk for good measure all coalesce in riotous read-aloud fare. Although the closing pages beg the implied child reader to “please please please please / please / choose a book with pictures” for subsequent reading, it’s likely that this request will be ignored.

A riotously fresh take on breaking the fourth wall . (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8037-4171-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2014

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