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A GOOD DAY by Kevin Henkes Kirkus Star


by Kevin Henkes & illustrated by Kevin Henkes

Age Range: 2 - 5

Pub Date: March 1st, 2007
ISBN: 0-06-114018-X
Publisher: Greenwillow

What makes a good day good? This deceptively simple work opens with calamity: Little yellow bird has lost his favorite tail feather; little white dog’s leash has gotten tangled up in the fence; little orange fox has lost his mother; and little brown squirrel has dropped her nut. “But then . . . ” The ellipsis has magic in it, turning all these bad days into good. Each creature’s turnaround unfolds in reverse order, small shifts in behavior and attitude making the change. Henkes uses the bold lines and serene compositions that were the hallmark of his Caldecott Medal–winning Kitten’s First Full Moon (2004), adding sunny watercolors for an appropriately cheery whole. The full-page illustrations, framed in the same brown ink that delineates each animal, appear opposite the minimal text, allowing the child reader to absorb each scene in its entirety with the turn of a page. Rounding out the pleasing circularity of events is a little girl’s happy discovery of little yellow bird’s feather: “Mama! What a good day!” A glorious celebration of the simple joys of childhood. (Picture book. 2-5)