Sweet—but alas, not a three-pea-t.

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LITTLE GREEN PEAS

A BIG BOOK OF COLORS

After tackling the alphabet and numbers in two previous excursions (LMNO Peas, 2013; 1-2-3 Peas, 2012), Baker’s winsome legumes return for a third ap-pea-rance, exploring nine colors.

Seven hues—blue, red, yellow, orange, green, purple and silver—garner two double-page spreads each. The first spread establishes the color-redolent context; the second locates those inimitable peas within the color’s established landscape. “B-L-U-E” towers in large, digitally rendered letters afloat on pale, stylized waves near a few sailboats. Sea stars cling to the “U,” while three peas display semaphore flags. A page turn reveals an ocean liner cruising past a sandy isle, where some 40 peas sunbathe, paint pictures, lift weights, hunt for treasure and more. One charming spread glows green: A stringed trellis supports “Green vines, / green leaves, / green sprouts, and… // baby green peas!” (Those babes in pods are adorable.) The “Silver” spreads contain large stacks of coins and a castle, complete with royal peas, distracted tower guards, a Rapunzel pea with long green locks, and even a gray, ghostly pea. The last color spread features both white and black—an appreciated twist in books about color concepts. While appealing, this doesn’t quite measure up to Baker’s earlier outings. The text is sparse and sometimes reads awkwardly. Too many of the spreads are under-pea-pulated, resulting in low exuberance levels.

Sweet—but alas, not a three-pea-t. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: July 22, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-7660-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2014

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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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A comical, fresh look at crayons and color

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THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT

Duncan wants to draw, but instead of crayons, he finds a stack of letters listing the crayons’ demands in this humorous tale.

Red is overworked, laboring even on holidays. Gray is exhausted from coloring expansive spaces (elephants, rhinos and whales). Black wants to be considered a color-in color, and Peach? He’s naked without his wrapper! This anthropomorphized lot amicably requests workplace changes in hand-lettered writing, explaining their work stoppage to a surprised Duncan. Some are tired, others underutilized, while a few want official titles. With a little creativity and a lot of color, Duncan saves the day. Jeffers delivers energetic and playful illustrations, done in pencil, paint and crayon. The drawings are loose and lively, and with few lines, he makes his characters effectively emote. Clever spreads, such as Duncan’s “white cat in the snow” perfectly capture the crayons’ conundrum, and photographic representations of both the letters and coloring pages offer another layer of texture, lending to the tale’s overall believability.

A comical, fresh look at crayons and color . (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-399-25537-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

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