LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD

Luminous colors, a deft combination of visual delicacy and richness, and a touch of surrealism make Little Red Riding Hood’s adventure a glowing feast for the eyes. Ceccoli uses acrylics, pencils, and oil pastels on canvas to create entrancing art with a soft texture. The canvas underneath is faintly and beautifully visible. The wolf curls around three sides of a page, serpent-like, almost surrounding Red. As they saunter down the path, fantastical trees tip precariously and diagonally above them. Peculiar tree shapes and impossible angles of growth reveal the potential danger of Red’s decision to stray from the path. Evetts-Secker’s clear, thoughtful text has Red bringing Granny “some fresh bread, some new butter and some sweet elderberry wine,” and the ending is Grimm, not Perrault: a woodcutter is savior, and Red fills the wolf’s belly with rocks. Gorgeous and shining with light throughout. (Picture book/fairytale. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2004

ISBN: 1-84148-621-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Barefoot

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2004

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Pair this with Leo Timmers’ Who Is Driving? (2007) for twice the guessing fun.

CLOTHESLINE CLUES TO JOBS PEOPLE DO

From the Clothesline Clues series

Heling and Hembrook’s clever conceit challenges children to analyze a small town’s clotheslines to guess the job each of their owners does. 

Close-up on the clothesline: “Uniform and cap, / an invite for you. / Big bag of letters. / What job does she do?” A turn of the page reveals a macro view of the home, van and the woman doing her job, “She is a mail carrier.” Indeed, she can be spotted throughout the book delivering invitations to all the rest of the characters, who gather at the end for a “Launch Party.” The verses’ rhymes are spot-on, though the rhythm falters a couple of times. The authors nicely mix up the gender stereotypes often associated with several of these occupations, making the carpenter, firefighter and astronaut women. But while Davies keeps uniforms and props pretty neutral (he even avoids U.S. mail symbols), he keeps to the stereotypes that allow young readers to easily identify occupations—the farmer chews on a stalk of wheat; the beret-wearing artist sports a curly mustache. A subdued palette and plain white backgrounds keep kids’ focus on the clothing clues. Still, there are plenty of details to absorb—the cat with arched back that anticipates a spray of water, the firefighter who “lights” the rocket.

Pair this with Leo Timmers’ Who Is Driving? (2007) for twice the guessing fun. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-58089-251-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 16, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2012

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THIS IS OUR HOUSE

Nine kids drag a cardboard box into a playground, where George immediately takes over: ``This house is mine and no one else is coming in.'' The others try to get past him, but George won't let them inside—and he explains why not: ``This house isn't for girls,'' ``This house isn't for people with glasses,'' etc. After he temporarily vacates the box to go to the bathroom, he finds that the others have declared the house off-limits to ``people with red hair.'' George, who has red hair, has an epiphany: ``This house is for everyone!'' Rosen (A School for Pompey Walker, 1995, etc.) has written a persuasive and entertaining morality play. For all its cadences, the dialogue is pungently realistic, perfectly reflecting the reasoning that goes on among children. The ethnically diverse cast appears against a stark white urban background of high-rise apartment buildings. These unassuming pictures are surprisingly powerful; Graham grays some characters and leaves others in full- color to shift the spotlight from scene to scene, then further emphasizes this theatrical effect by zooming in or pulling back from the action. Overall, it's real cartoon drama. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 1, 1996

ISBN: 1-56402-870-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1996

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