MR. GREEN PEAS

Norman Slope doesn't know much about pets before he goes to nursery school, and his parents would have been happy if things had stayed that way. But from his first introduction to the classroom hamster, and his subsequent discovery that his classmates have dogs, cats, birds, etc., Norman embarks on a campaign. His suggestions of ordinary animals, however, are met with parental objections centered on allergies, fear (gerbils look like rats) and noise. When Mr. Slope brings home his boss's pet iguana for a month, Norman dubs the creature Mr. Green Peas for its vegetarian appetites and is delighted that it is the most ``outrageous'' pet in the world. Caseley (Mama, Coming and Going, 1994, etc.) adds to this age- old yearning of a child for a pet her characteristically merry illustrations, with their flat perspectives and tidily patterned rooms. If there are parts of the country in which an iguana is not as unusual as Mr. Green Peas suggests, it detracts not a whit from this good, light fun. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-688-12859-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1995

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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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TEN LITTLE FINGERS AND TEN LITTLE TOES

A pleasing poem that celebrates babies around the world. Whether from a remote village or an urban dwelling, a tent or the snow, Fox notes that each “of these babies, / as everyone knows, / had ten little fingers / and ten little toes.” Repeated in each stanza, the verse establishes an easy rhythm. Oxenbury’s charming illustrations depict infants from a variety of ethnicities wearing clothing that invokes a sense of place. Her pencil drawings, with clean watercolor washes laid in, are sweetly similar to those in her early board books (Clap Hands, 1987, etc.). Each stanza introduces a new pair of babies, and the illustrations cleverly incorporate the children from the previous stanzas onto one page, allowing readers to count not only fingers and toes but also babies. The last stanza switches its focus from two children to one “sweet little child,” and reveals the narrator as that baby’s mother. Little readers will take to the repetition and counting, while parents will be moved by the last spread: a sweet depiction of mother and baby. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-15-206057-2

Page Count: 34

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2008

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