An imaginative and visual pleasure as well as confirmation that spaceships don’t beep and blink but sound like spring...

READ REVIEW

FRANKY

Young Sam knows that robots live on their own planet in outer space.

Timmers, a Belgian, gives colors of tooth-cracking radiance to his comical characters, setting them against fields of luminous white. Sam, a little dark-haired white boy, is nuts about robots. He thinks they live on a faraway planet. His family pooh-poohs him: “You watch too much TV, son,” says his mother. Only the old radio—the kind that sort of looks like a robot’s head—agrees: “Everybody knows that!” So Sam sets about building a robot who will understand him, a wonderful contraption made out of a vacuum cleaner, garden tools, lamp stands, a fan, and guess what for a head? Eh voilà—Franky: Franky who plays robots with Sam, Franky who speaks in what looks like molecular models, Franky who is a barrel of fun until one day he stands looking out the window at the sky. That night, an army of Frankys arrives in a spaceship to take him home. One could mine this book for subtexts—imaginary friends, the creator of life having to let it go, and the simple truth that extraterrestrial beings are made out of Electrolux canisters—but its surface qualities are equally, if not more than, adequate for high entertainment purposes.

An imaginative and visual pleasure as well as confirmation that spaceships don’t beep and blink but sound like spring cleaning. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-9272-7193-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Gecko Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 9, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some...

RALPH TELLS A STORY

With a little help from his audience, a young storyteller gets over a solid case of writer’s block in this engaging debut.

Despite the (sometimes creatively spelled) examples produced by all his classmates and the teacher’s assertion that “Stories are everywhere!” Ralph can’t get past putting his name at the top of his paper. One day, lying under the desk in despair, he remembers finding an inchworm in the park. That’s all he has, though, until his classmates’ questions—“Did it feel squishy?” “Did your mom let you keep it?” “Did you name it?”—open the floodgates for a rousing yarn featuring an interloping toddler, a broad comic turn and a dramatic rescue. Hanlon illustrates the episode with childlike scenes done in transparent colors, featuring friendly-looking children with big smiles and widely spaced button eyes. The narrative text is printed in standard type, but the children’s dialogue is rendered in hand-lettered printing within speech balloons. The episode is enhanced with a page of elementary writing tips and the tantalizing titles of his many subsequent stories (“When I Ate Too Much Spaghetti,” “The Scariest Hamster,” “When the Librarian Yelled Really Loud at Me,” etc.) on the back endpapers.

An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some budding young writers off and running. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2012

ISBN: 978-0761461807

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Amazon Children's Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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