Langreuter and Dahle’s gentle story fails to cover any new ground, but readers will relate to Brayden’s experience and...

THERE'S NO ONE I LOVE LIKE YOU

In this German import, a bunny is convinced that living with his friends will be easier and more enjoyable than obeying the rules at home.

Late one morning, Brayden is reluctant to get out of bed, pick up his toys, wash his whiskers or play with his sisters. He grumbles to his mother, “I wish I could go live with my friends.…I wouldn’t have to do chores.” When his mother asks him if this is really what he wants to do, he picks up his backpack and leaves. All of Brayden’s friends’ families warmly welcome him, but no one scratches his ears “like Mommy does.” No place is exactly right: Missy Mouse’s house is too messy, with toys everywhere; Benny Badger’s family smells “a little funny” because they never wash up; Fipsi Squirrel’s home is too high up in the tree to climb. Cousin Pepi’s house seems perfect until Brayden gets “a curious lump in his bunny throat,…an odd tugging in his bunny tummy [and] a strange jabbing in his bunny heart.” Readers will immediately understand what is happening—he is missing his home and his mommy. Soon, Brayden returns, and Mommy Bunny lovingly welcomes him with a perfect scratch on his ears.

Langreuter and Dahle’s gentle story fails to cover any new ground, but readers will relate to Brayden’s experience and perhaps develop a better appreciation for the comforts and rules of home. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7358-4126-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: NorthSouth

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2012

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RAIN SCHOOL

It takes a village to make a school. In Chad, big brothers and sisters lead the way for younger children on the first day of school. Little Thomas is full of questions. When he and the other children arrive, there are no classrooms and no desks. But the teacher's there, holding a trowel. "We will build our school," she declares. Everyone sets to work, making mud bricks that dry in the sun and a roof out of grass and saplings. Thomas loves his lessons; every day he learns something new. At the end of the school year, the minds of the students "are fat with knowledge." And just in time: The rainy season arrives and makes short work of the schoolhouse. Come September, they'll start all over. Rumford's illustrations make great use of color, dark brown skin and bright shirts, shorts and dresses against golden backgrounds, the hues applied in smudgy layers that infuse each scene with warmth—until the gray rains arrive. It's a nifty social-studies lesson tucked into a warm tale of community. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-547-24307-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 1, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

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BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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