This peaceful and attractive offering will encourage young children and their caregivers to take a new look at a part of the...

READ REVIEW

TREES

Elegant illustrations and a subtle, heartwarming environmental message elevate this picture book above the plethora of more conventional nature books for young children.

Created by the Barcelona collective Lemniscates, it has a distinctive style similar to that of the group’s iPad apps. The double-page spreads are illustrated in textural mixed media, with an exquisitely controlled use of color and space. A white child is seen interacting with trees in both rural and urban settings, and many birds are shown enjoying the trees’ bounty of leaves, seeds, and fruit and benefiting from their shelter. Trees are viewed with gentle anthropomorphism; they sleep in winter, wake up in spring; they “have their heads in the clouds / and their feet on the ground.” They “use their roots to communicate and to help one another.” The environmental message is revealed in the final spreads: “Trees cannot change their place in the world. So they are patient and learn to live where they are.” Their value as providers of shelter, shade, clean air, and food reinforces the message of the book: that they are “marvelous beings” and need to be appreciated.

This peaceful and attractive offering will encourage young children and their caregivers to take a new look at a part of the landscape often taken for granted. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9001-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick Studio

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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Instills a sense of well-being in youngsters while encouraging them to explore the natural world.

YOU ARE HOME WITH ME

This reassuring picture book exemplifies how parents throughout the animal kingdom make homes for their offspring.

The narrative is written from the point of view of a parent talking to their child: “If you were a beaver, I would gnaw on trees with my teeth to build a cozy lodge for us to sleep in during the day.” Text appears in big, easy-to-read type, with the name of the creature in boldface. Additional facts about the animal appear in a smaller font, such as: “Beavers have transparent eyelids to help them see under water.” The gathering of land, air, and water animals includes a raven, a flying squirrel, and a sea lion. “Home” might be a nest, a den, or a burrow. One example, of a blue whale who has homes in the north and south (ocean is implied), will help children stretch the concept into feeling at home in the larger world. Illustrations of the habitats have an inviting luminosity. Mature and baby animals are realistically depicted, although facial features appear to have been somewhat softened, perhaps to appeal to young readers. The book ends with the comforting scene of a human parent and child silhouetted in the welcoming lights of the house they approach: “Wherever you may be, you will always have a home with me.”

Instills a sense of well-being in youngsters while encouraging them to explore the natural world. (Informational picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-63217-224-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little Bigfoot/Sasquatch

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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It’s not the most original of plots and somewhat lacking in substance, but the message is clear: true friendship can...

IN THE WOODS

It’s springtime in the woods, and all the animals are buzzing with excitement for the wedding of Red the fox.

While making decorations for the big event, two penguins help to solve problems that beset three of their friends. In the first short chapter, they encounter Olly the horse, who is distraught because all his friends have become unicorns and flown away. With speedy ingenuity, the penguins and other animals transform the forlorn horse into a magical beast, using branches for wings and a cone for a horn to help Olly become a unicorn and fly away. In the second chapter, Lionel the lion has lost his mane, and the friends construct an acceptable substitute out of flowers and branches. In the third minichapter, disaster befalls Red: the wedding cake she spent all week making has been stolen by Wolf. The friends pool their supply of woodland foods to make a new cake, “big enough to feed the whole wood.” Each minichapter ends with the phrase “Be happy now!” Rowe’s flat, limited-color silkscreen-style illustrations create an overly busy impression on the page, and the erratically placed text makes it sometimes difficult to follow the narrative.

It’s not the most original of plots and somewhat lacking in substance, but the message is clear: true friendship can overcome any obstacle. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 17, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-500-65105-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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