Henkes and Dronzek make waiting almost as much fun—if not more so—than the payoff.

READ REVIEW

WHEN SPRING COMES

Caldecott Medalist and Newbery honoree Henkes hands over the paintbrush for this ode to spring.

Recalling the central activity in his winsome Waiting (2015), Henkes’ text emphasizes patience. “If you wait, / Spring will bring / leaves and blossoms” to cover bare winter branches. “If you wait, Spring will make” snow melt to nothingness (eventually) and turn brown grass green. A read-aloud dream, the meticulous text catalogs Spring’s awakenings and its characteristic weather. “I hope you like umbrellas,” the narrator dryly advises before also acknowledging that Spring “changes its mind a lot,” as the drooping, snow-covered daffodils attest. As the season advances, the text grows giddy with alliteration and syllabic bounce: “There will be buds / and bees / and boots / and bubbles.” Dronzek’s thick-lined, bright acrylics are as simultaneously wry and joyous as the text. Readers will chuckle at the slowly melting snowman reduced to sticks and pieces of coal over five vignettes, and they will thoroughly luxuriate in highly saturated double-page spreads bursting with flowers and color (and kittens!). A towheaded child and a brunette older sibling, both white, also feel the joy. A final medallion showing three kittens amid strawberry plants teasingly reminds readers that the waiting’s not over: “Now, you have to wait for Summer”; endpapers tantalize with fireworks, Popsicles, and flip-flops.

Henkes and Dronzek make waiting almost as much fun—if not more so—than the payoff. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-233139-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 11, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2015

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Earnest and silly by turns, it doesn’t quite capture the attention or the imagination, although surely its heart is in the...

ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER

Rhymed couplets convey the story of a girl who likes to build things but is shy about it. Neither the poetry nor Rosie’s projects always work well.

Rosie picks up trash and oddments where she finds them, stashing them in her attic room to work on at night. Once, she made a hat for her favorite zookeeper uncle to keep pythons away, and he laughed so hard that she never made anything publicly again. But when her great-great-aunt Rose comes to visit and reminds Rosie of her own past building airplanes, she expresses her regret that she still has not had the chance to fly. Great-great-aunt Rose is visibly modeled on Rosie the Riveter, the iconic, red-bandanna–wearing poster woman from World War II. Rosie decides to build a flying machine and does so (it’s a heli-o-cheese-copter), but it fails. She’s just about to swear off making stuff forever when Aunt Rose congratulates her on her failure; now she can go on to try again. Rosie wears her hair swooped over one eye (just like great-great-aunt Rose), and other figures have exaggerated hairdos, tiny feet and elongated or greatly rounded bodies. The detritus of Rosie’s collections is fascinating, from broken dolls and stuffed animals to nails, tools, pencils, old lamps and possibly an erector set. And cheddar-cheese spray.

Earnest and silly by turns, it doesn’t quite capture the attention or the imagination, although surely its heart is in the right place. (historical note) (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0845-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2013

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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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