Community togetherness at its best in this celebration of a tree.

READ REVIEW

BIG TREE DOWN!

A beloved tree brings the town together even after it is toppled in a storm.

Big Tree is “shelter, shade, hiding place. Just right for sharing secrets, leaning, and dreaming.” The landmark is the meeting place in town. But then a storm strikes. The huge noise of the falling tree, the car alarms going off, and the fact that the power goes out all have neighbors leaning out their windows. They spy “a patch of sky that wasn’t there before.” Lawlor nicely enfolds a safety lesson into the tale: the narrator’s father calls 911 and reports the downed power line. Community workers arrive to take care of it: the police, the linemen, the forestry crew. Meanwhile, neighbors of all ages and races gather as a community to talk about Big Tree, share food, cook over fires, and sing. The next day, the remnants of Big Tree are ground away and grass is planted. The community feels the loss keenly but also recognizes what Big Tree has left behind: firewood, mulch, branches for artwork, and more. On the final page, the narrator’s interracial family (a white man, a darker-skinned woman, and their two children) is shown planting a new sapling. “Meet me at Little Tree.” Gordon’s richly colored illustrations portray the togetherness that is sometimes still found in small towns or urban neighborhoods.

Community togetherness at its best in this celebration of a tree. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3661-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more