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It has been snowing continuously for a whole month. When it finally stops, “trees and houses disappeared / shovelers and plows appeared.” Sammy emerges from his house, climbs a snow mountain and imagines what could be beneath the white peaks and cliffs. From a big black bear and her cubs in a cave, to a wooly mammoth, to ruby- and emerald-mining dwarves and elves, to moles drinking ice-cream sodas, Sammy climbs and conjures a new dream each day. When the warm sunshine finally melts all but a small island of snow, Sammy imagines a new vision of grass. Mixed-media watercolor-ink-oil-charcoal paintings in soft wintry blues illuminate a lackluster story of a young child’s playful fantasy and way of coping with a long dormant frosty season. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-88899-712-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2006

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A droll exploration of color and nature—and a welcome reminder to safeguard our planet.

Daywalt and Jeffers’ wildly popular Crayons have an important ecological message.

Though climate change is never mentioned, the book nevertheless gently introduces responsibility for Planet Earth. As in previous titles, the main text is in a large black font, while the Crayons’ dialogue is presented in a smaller, gray font. Blue begins by showing off a blue-tinged image of the globe (land masses are depicted in a darker hue). Green takes over: “Yay, Trees! I did those!” Beige breaks in, pointing to a tiny wheat plant next to two large trees: “And wheat! I did the WHEAT!” Beige puts wheat front and center throughout—even on White’s drawing of mountaintop ice caps. When Red, Yellow, and Orange display drawings of various fruits, Beige interjects, “And WHEAT. Wheat is totally fruit.” Diplomatic Purple politely responds, “Um. NO. It is not.” Purple attempts to dissuade self-important Beige, but it all ends happily as the Crayons join hands and proclaim: “Our planet has all of us too, in many shapes, colors, and sizes.” Beige and Purple reconcile, with Beige adding, “And it’s our job to keep the planet safe.” Young children will easily absorb this positive message. Although these characters have had many outings, their quiet humor still succeeds, and fans will definitely want this new entry.

A droll exploration of color and nature—and a welcome reminder to safeguard our planet. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 13, 2024

ISBN: 9780593621080

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2023

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Animated and educational.

A hare and a ground squirrel banter about the differences between related animals that are often confused for one another.

Jack is “no Flopsy, Mopsy, or Cottontail,” but a “H-A-R-E, hare!” Like sheep and goats, or turtles and tortoises, rabbits and hares may look similar, but hares are bigger, their fur changes color in the winter, and they are born with their eyes wide open. As the ground squirrel (not to be mistaken for a chipmunk (even though Jack cheekily calls it “Chippie”) and Jack engage in playful discussion about animals, a sneaky coyote prowls after them through the Sonoran Desert. This picture book conveys the full narrative in spirited, speech-bubbled dialogue set on expressive illustrations of talking animals. Dark outlines around the characters make their shapes pop against the softly blended colors of the desert backgrounds. Snappy back-and-forth paired with repetition and occasional rhyme enhances the story’s appeal as a read-aloud. As the story progresses, the colors of the sky shift from dawn to dusk, providing subtle, visual bookends for the narrative. One page of backmatter offers a quick guide to eight easily confused pairs, and a second turns a subsequent exploration of the book into a seek-and-find of 15 creatures (and one dessert) hidden in the desert. Unfortunately, while most of the creatures from the seek-and-find appear in poses that match the illustrations in the challenge, not all of them are consistently represented. (This book was reviewed digitally with 7-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at 53.3% of actual size.)

Animated and educational. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-358-12506-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

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