This winning read-aloud should encourage multiple recitations.

BUMPETY, DUNKETY, THUMPETY-THUMP!

A day of blueberry picking and all it entails is experienced in a jaunty, rollicking romp.

Siblings set out barefoot through the muddy grass with their wagon, fill their bucket and mouths with the fruit, and return home with their bounty. “Berries on tongues taste bumpety-bump. / Plop them in the bucket, they go plunkety-plunk. // Bucket in the wagon rattles clunkety-clunk. // Bumpety, plunkety, clunkety-clunk.” Pie baking is next as the sibs feel the plumpness of the berries through their fingers, enjoy a piece of the freshly baked dessert, help to clean up dishes, take a bath, happily say goodnight, snuggle in for a story, and fall asleep after a very satisfying day. Each scene, rendered in muted colors with printlike textures, depicts this possibly mixed-race family (one child has light-brown skin, the other has pink; mom and dad are both light-skinned) working together as the story unfolds in its sonorous, animated phrasing. Little ones will bounce along to each new frolicsome declaration right up to the somniferous end. “Snuggle in the blankie in a lumpety-lump. // Hearts beat close with a thumpety-thump. // Bumpety, lumpety, thumpety- thump.”

This winning read-aloud should encourage multiple recitations. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4424-3414-1

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 14, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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A sweet, poetic ode to autumn.

IF YOU FIND A LEAF

A rhyming celebration of imagination.

A child with brown skin offers gentle, artful ideas about what to do with autumn leaves. The picture book's idyllic setting seems Northeastern in nature, with deciduous trees shedding leaves, which the child scoops up. Could a leaf from a tree become a hat, a Halloween mask, a hammock, or something else entirely? "It could be a horn that blows, announcing that we're here. // A leafy parade to celebrate our favorite time of year." Rhyme rules the text but isn't forced in the least. Collaged leaves against painted illustrations encourage play and imagination. A nod to winter and spring make this a year-round read. Endpapers with realistic labeled images of leaves provide an injection of information in this otherwise dreamy musing. The backmatter includes instructions on collaging—a meaningful and fun activity that builds upon the text. While there's nothing groundbreaking here, there is opportunity for both learning and whimsy. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A sweet, poetic ode to autumn. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: July 12, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-30659-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House Studio

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2022

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Animated and educational.

I'M A HARE, SO THERE!

A hare and a ground squirrel banter about the differences between related animals that are often confused for one another.

Jack is “no Flopsy, Mopsy, or Cottontail,” but a “H-A-R-E, hare!” Like sheep and goats, or turtles and tortoises, rabbits and hares may look similar, but hares are bigger, their fur changes color in the winter, and they are born with their eyes wide open. As the ground squirrel (not to be mistaken for a chipmunk (even though Jack cheekily calls it “Chippie”) and Jack engage in playful discussion about animals, a sneaky coyote prowls after them through the Sonoran Desert. This picture book conveys the full narrative in spirited, speech-bubbled dialogue set on expressive illustrations of talking animals. Dark outlines around the characters make their shapes pop against the softly blended colors of the desert backgrounds. Snappy back-and-forth paired with repetition and occasional rhyme enhances the story’s appeal as a read-aloud. As the story progresses, the colors of the sky shift from dawn to dusk, providing subtle, visual bookends for the narrative. One page of backmatter offers a quick guide to eight easily confused pairs, and a second turns a subsequent exploration of the book into a seek-and-find of 15 creatures (and one dessert) hidden in the desert. Unfortunately, while most of the creatures from the seek-and-find appear in poses that match the illustrations in the challenge, not all of them are consistently represented. (This book was reviewed digitally with 7-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at 53.3% of actual size.)

Animated and educational. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-358-12506-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

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