Captures the magic of childhood summers, when colors are a song and a backyard can sing the wonders of the world.

SUMMER SONG

Henkes and Dronzek evoke the sights, sounds, and joys of summer, completing their celebratory seasonal quartet.

Captivating poetic text begins like a stream of consciousness: “The Summer sun is a giant flower, / and the flowers are like little suns. / Little suns of all different colors.” Brilliantly woven together, these accessible and seemingly simple similes and metaphors form a vibrant and sophisticated ode to nature. Readers will drink in the delicious cool shade, feel the sweltering sun, and revel in the lush green garden. Henkes hears summer’s song everywhere—in the wind through the grass, the birds in the sky, and the oceans and lakes. Onomatopoeia fills the air with the sounds of bees and dragonflies, juxtaposed with the silence of the glowing firefly. Uncomplicated acrylic paintings done in a primary palette will appeal to young animal lovers. Deeply saturated blues and greens capture the essence of the season, Dronzek’s characteristically firm black outlines helping animals, flowers, birds, insects, and humans pop. A multiracial cast of kids tend pets, cool off in the sprinkler, play in the sand, and watch clouds. As the season wanes, there’s delicious anticipation for autumn’s change. This lovely read-aloud will be savored, just like a summer’s day.

Captures the magic of childhood summers, when colors are a song and a backyard can sing the wonders of the world. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: April 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-286613-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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A cozy read for bibliophiles.

SNOWMAN'S STORY

With echoes of “Frosty the Snowman” in the background, a snowman’s storybook within this wordless book delivers a comic wintertime romp.

Woodland creatures build a snowman, giving him a green book as a finishing touch. This addition comes right after a windswept top hat lands on his head, vivifying him à la Frosty. Hidden inside is a rabbit (it is a magic hat, after all); attentive readers will have seen the hat first on frontmatter pages and then with the bunny in the double-page spreads before the early ones devoted to the snowman’s construction. The snowman reads his book aloud to the animals, with the rabbit surreptitiously listening in, its ears poking out of the top of the hat. When the others all drift off to sleep, the bunny emerges and steals away with the book. A chase ensues across snowy terrain and through a series of pages (perhaps a few too many for good pacing) replete with comic-style panels. When the animals and snowman confront the rabbit in its tree-hollow home, its motivation for book thievery is revealed: This bunny has a family and wishes to share the story with its children. All’s well that ends well, and the animals convene (safely outside and away from the rabbit family’s crackling fireplace) to read together.

A cozy read for bibliophiles. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4778-4787-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Oct. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2014

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An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way.

NOAH CHASES THE WIND

A young boy sees things a little differently than others.

Noah can see patterns in the dust when it sparkles in the sunlight. And if he puts his nose to the ground, he can smell the “green tang of the ants in the grass.” His most favorite thing of all, however, is to read. Noah has endless curiosity about how and why things work. Books open the door to those answers. But there is one question the books do not explain. When the wind comes whistling by, where does it go? Noah decides to find out. In a chase that has a slight element of danger—wind, after all, is unpredictable—Noah runs down streets, across bridges, near a highway, until the wind lifts him off his feet. Cowman’s gusty wisps show each stream of air turning a different jewel tone, swirling all around. The ribbons gently bring Noah home, setting him down under the same thinking tree where he began. Did it really happen? Worthington’s sensitive exploration leaves readers with their own set of questions and perhaps gratitude for all types of perspective. An author’s note mentions children on the autism spectrum but widens to include all who feel a little different.

An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60554-356-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Redleaf Lane

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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