THE BOOK OF GIVING

POEMS OF THANKS, PRAISE AND CELEBRATION

Chorao (Mother Goose Magic, 1994, etc.) clearly states her intentions for this anthology in her introduction and in the selection of the first two pieces. Overlaid against a phantasmagoric scene of sunshine on water, two poems face each other: James Weldon Johnson's Christian ``Up from the bed of the river'' and the ``Dakota Prairie Hymn.'' Thus the collection, ``created in the hopes of encouraging children to think about giving,'' is to be both pious and inclusive; the tiny figures in that spread's foreground could be either Madonna and the Christ Child or a Native American mother and baby. The scope broadens to include offerings from the Bible, Langston Hughes, Eleanor Farjeon, William Blake, Tu Fu, Rabbi Moshe Hakotun—a divergent religious spectrum for a subject matter and artistic style that are consistently traditional. The predominance of rural scenes may make city children wonder if their surroundings are as praiseworthy. A sentimental and somewhat overwrought collection whose gifts will be best appreciated by browsers. (Picture book/poetry. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-525-45409-8

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1995

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DIM SUM FOR EVERYONE!

Dim sum is the perfect tea party for children because of the tasty, small dishes on teacarts from which to choose. Here, a little girl narrates a simple story of the delicious meal she shares with her family. Turnip cakes, fried shrimp, sweet pork buns, and sweet tofu are all chosen, and lastly, the narrator selects egg tarts. As each child selects from a cart, the perspective changes to focus on the chooser. The bright red restaurant rug is the background color for every page, setting off the silver carts with their goodies and the bright, patterned colors of the people’s clothes. The yellow letters of the text at times curve to match the tables in the picture or appear a little off to the side so as not to interfere with the visual image. One particularly effective spread steps back and shows a half-dozen tables all filled with little dishes and the silver carts wending their way through them; the pattern is delightful. A history of the origins of dim sum and its popularity today is described in an epilogue. The bright green endpapers are decorated at the front with food, condiments, and tableware while the back endpapers depict almost two dozen dim sum dishes. A delightful read-aloud, sure to please those children who have enjoyed dim sum and a fascinating adventure for those who have yet to experience it. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 10, 2001

ISBN: 978-0-440-41770-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2001

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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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