Combining education and intergenerational fun, this work will appeal to readers of all ages.

THE CHILDREN'S MOON

A boy learns about the moon and space in this picture book.

Sunny, a blond White child, notices that the moon and sun simultaneously appear in the daytime sky. Grandma says this is called “The Children’s Moon” and “it belongs to…children in the world. People of all ages love to dance together under its magic light.” Sunny dances and Grandma spins in her electric wheelchair. They play a game called “TO THE MOON AND BACK,” and Sunny “blasts off.” The book then switches to nonfiction content, providing information about the moon, astronauts, and more. It features historical events, like the first moon landing, and intriguing facts, including how recycled water is used in space. The work also touches on the moon’s significance in many cultures before returning to Sunny and Grandma. While the boy decides that he wants to visit Mars, he promises to keep Grandma in his heart wherever he travels. The book then presents more educational snippets for young readers. Cook offers an enticing learning experience in an approachable format. The work delivers entertaining tidbits for kids, such as how the Toy Story series’ Buzz Light­year was named after astronaut Buzz Aldrin. Nadeau’s detailed, hand-drawn illustrations add nice character. The artistic, realistic depictions show Sunny, Grandma, and various children enjoying the Children’s Moon. Illustrations also supplement the nonfiction parts, with drawings of the moon and portrayals of people mentioned, including Stephen Hawking.

Combining education and intergenerational fun, this work will appeal to readers of all ages.

Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-52-557804-5

Page Count: 52

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: May 21, 2021

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THIS BOOK IS GRAY

A gray character tries to write an all-gray book.

The six primary and secondary colors are building a rainbow, each contributing the hue of their own body, and Gray feels forlorn and left out because rainbows contain no gray. So Gray—who, like the other characters, has a solid, triangular body, a doodle-style face, and stick limbs—sets off alone to create “the GRAYest book ever.” His book inside a book shows a peaceful gray cliff house near a gray sea with gentle whitecaps; his three gray characters—hippo, wolf, kitten—wait for their arc to begin. But then the primaries arrive and call the gray scene “dismal, bleak, and gloomy.” The secondaries show up too, and soon everyone’s overrunning Gray’s creation. When Gray refuses to let White and Black participate, astute readers will note the flaw: White and black (the colors) had already been included in the early all-gray spreads. Ironically, Gray’s book within a book displays calm, passable art while the metabook’s unsubtle illustrations and sloppy design make for cramped and crowded pages that are too busy to hold visual focus. The speech-bubble dialogue’s snappy enough (Blue calls people “dude,” and there are puns). A convoluted moral muddles the core artistic question—whether a whole book can be gray—and instead highlights a trite message about working together.

Low grade. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5420-4340-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: July 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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Between its autumn and field-trip themes and the fact that not many books start countdowns from 20, this may find its way to...

PUMPKIN COUNTDOWN

A class visits the pumpkin patch, giving readers a chance to count down from 20.

At the farm, Farmer Mixenmatch gives them the tour, which includes a petting zoo, an educational area, a corn maze and a tractor ride to the pumpkin patch. Holub’s text cleverly though not always successfully rhymes each child’s name within the line: “ ‘Eighteen kids get on our bus,’ says Russ. / ‘But someone’s late,’ says Kate. / ‘Wait for me!’ calls Kiri.” Pumpkins at the tops of pages contain the numerals that match the text, allowing readers to pair them with the orange-colored, spelled-out numbers. Some of the objects proffered to count are a bit of a stretch—“Guess sixteen things we’ll see,” count 14 cars that arrived at the farm before the bus—but Smith’s artwork keeps things easy to count, except for a challenging page that asks readers to search for 17 orange items (answers are at the bottom, upside down). Strangely, Holub includes one page with nothing to count—a sign marks “15 Pumpkin Street.” Charming, multicultural round-faced characters and lots of detail encourage readers to go back through the book scouring pages for the 16 things the kids guessed they might see. Endpapers featuring a smattering of pumpkin facts round out the text.

Between its autumn and field-trip themes and the fact that not many books start countdowns from 20, this may find its way to many library shelves. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: July 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8075-6660-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: May 16, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2012

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