BATS AROUND THE CLOCK

Lights, camera, action; it’s American Batstand, a 12-hour marathon of nonstop shake, rattle, and roll hosted by the ageless Click Dark. Captivating cartoon critters decked out in their best disco duds shimmy, shrug, and swim to a beat that changes every hour on the hour. Rhyming text carries the reader through a musical repertoire from jitterbug to jive. “There was rockin’ in the rafters— / there was dancin’ in the street. / Then they did the locomotion / and they boogied to the beat.” Or “They twisted left and twisted right / until the hour of seven. / There was shakin’, there was shoutin’—it was rockin’ rollin’ heaven!” Some of this may fly right over the heads of the intended audience, but they will certainly enjoy the rhythm of the poetry and the chance to dance the bop. And they might learn a little bit about telling time, too, since a mouse holds a small clock on each page with a time change. This is the third bat math book from this team and they seem to have the formula stirred just right. Boogie down. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: April 30, 2000

ISBN: 0-688-16469-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2000

THE CRAYONS GO BACK TO SCHOOL

Nothing new here but a nonetheless congenial matriculant in publishing’s autumnal rite of back-to-school offerings.

The Crayons head back to class in this latest series entry.

Daywalt’s expository text lays out the basics as various Crayons wave goodbye to the beach, choose a first-day outfit, greet old friends, and make new ones. As in previous outings, the perennially droll illustrations and hand-lettered Crayon-speak drive the humor. The ever wrapperless Peach, opining, “What am I going to wear?” surveys three options: top hat and tails, a chef’s toque and apron, and a Santa suit. New friends Chunky Toddler Crayon (who’s missing a bite-sized bit of their blue point) and Husky Toddler Crayon speculate excitedly on their common last name: “I wonder if we’re related!” White Crayon, all but disappearing against the page’s copious white space, sits cross-legged reading a copy of H.G. Wells’ The Invisible Man. And Yellow and Orange, notable for their previous existential argument about the color of the sun, find agreement in science class: Jupiter, clearly, is yellow AND orange. Everybody’s excited about art class—“Even if they make a mess. Actually…ESPECIALLY if they make a mess!” Here, a spread of crayoned doodles of butterflies, hearts, and stars is followed by one with fulsome scribbles. Fans of previous outings will spot cameos from Glow in the Dark and yellow-caped Esteban (the Crayon formerly known as Pea Green). (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Nothing new here but a nonetheless congenial matriculant in publishing’s autumnal rite of back-to-school offerings. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: May 16, 2023

ISBN: 9780593621110

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Feb. 24, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2023

LOVE FROM THE CRAYONS

As ephemeral as a valentine.

Daywalt and Jeffers’ wandering crayons explore love.

Each double-page spread offers readers a vision of one of the anthropomorphic crayons on the left along with the statement “Love is [color].” The word love is represented by a small heart in the appropriate color. Opposite, childlike crayon drawings explain how that color represents love. So, readers learn, “love is green. / Because love is helpful.” The accompanying crayon drawing depicts two alligators, one holding a recycling bin and the other tossing a plastic cup into it, offering readers two ways of understanding green. Some statements are thought-provoking: “Love is white. / Because sometimes love is hard to see,” reaches beyond the immediate image of a cat’s yellow eyes, pink nose, and black mouth and whiskers, its white face and body indistinguishable from the paper it’s drawn on, to prompt real questions. “Love is brown. / Because sometimes love stinks,” on the other hand, depicted by a brown bear standing next to a brown, squiggly turd, may provoke giggles but is fundamentally a cheap laugh. Some of the color assignments have a distinctly arbitrary feel: Why is purple associated with the imagination and pink with silliness? Fans of The Day the Crayons Quit (2013) hoping for more clever, metaliterary fun will be disappointed by this rather syrupy read.

As ephemeral as a valentine. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-9268-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2021

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