RHYMES ROUND THE WORLD

The poems in this sampling of international verse originate from all over the globe, including countries such as Poland, Iran, France, China and the United States. The lively poems and songs are accompanied by Chorao’s colorful paintings, which feature her trademark joyful, round-faced tots in a variety of dynamic scenarios and landscapes. A hodgepodge of child-friendly topics are addressed, from tickling and birthdays to elephants and the rain. Source notes would have been a nice addition, as the credits are somewhat inconsistent. Most verses are attributed to a country or continent, some list an author or are labeled anonymous or traditional, while another is an “old jingle,” with no explanation provided for how the designation was made. Children may not get a clear picture of how these countries and places vary—the emphasis is more on the universal than the particular—but they will come away with the realization that children all around the world play, dance, appreciate flowers, look at the sky—and say goodnight (the illustration includes a translation in 18 languages). (Picture book/poetry. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-525-47875-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2009

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Hard-to-find numbers make this counting book one to skip.

NUMBERS EVERYWHERE

Four-line poems introduce the numbers zero to nine opposite stylized, colorful mixed-media illustrations that incorporate them.

The relevant numeral is printed clearly over each poem and worked into the pictures, with dotted blue lines to help readers find them. This device sometimes works against itself. For example, the poem headed “3” reads: “Curve out and back in— / Do it once, then repeat: / A three is red pepper / On pizza. Let’s eat!” The poem is inviting, but the red pepper 3’s on the pizza slices opposite are obscured by the dotted blue lines superimposed on them. There are also three people to count and three tuning pegs on the banjo one kid plays. Those elements of the illustration are clear enough, but locating the numeral can be hard. Most pictures share this difficulty, although some, like the two balls of the snowman representing 8, are easier to spot. (Eight children play around the snowman, and there are eight pieces of coal marking its features.) The pictures include people with varying skin tones. In acknowledgment of the difficulty of the concept, a concluding double-page spread with number shapes incorporated into the composition is followed by an identical spread with the number shapes circled for readers to confirm their guesses. The rear endpapers offer each numeral with a corresponding number of thumbnails from the appropriate earlier spread for extra practice.

Hard-to-find numbers make this counting book one to skip. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 22, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4321-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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LEO’S TREE

In a sort of prequel to The Giving Tree, Leo’s father plants a “scratchy, branchy” linden in the yard to mark Leo’s birth. Boy and tree grow through several sets of seasons, until a second tree joins the first to mark the arrival of Leo’s little sister Sophie. Gardeners will cringe to see Leo’s dad carrying Sophie’s sapling by its trunk rather than its bundled root-ball, then planting it far too close to Leo’s tree—but Hilo’s earlier scenes of toddler and growing tree together on a sunlit lawn, surrounded by flowers, birds, and plush toys, do project an engagingly idyllic air, and the pared-down text—“Rosy cheeks rosy trees / Crunchy golden linden leaves / Leo creeping / Crawling standing . . . / Leaves and Leo all fall down!”—will draw new readers. A tried-and-true theme, pleasantly iterated. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 1, 2004

ISBN: 1-55037-845-7

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Firefly

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2004

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