An approachable concept book for very early beginning readers with word pairs and illustrations sure to inspire grins—and...

Wish

A dandelion seed goes on a journey after being blown by a child’s wish in this delightful, simply worded, brightly colored concept book by Susskind (So You Think You Babysit Monsters?. 2013, etc.) and illustrated by Tadić.

On the opening two-page spread, the word “Wish!” commands a young girl to blow the dandelion she holds in front of her. With a “Whoosh” and “Wee” on the next spread, the journey of the dandelion seed begins. The computer-designed images, with the simple facial expressions on the dandelion seed hero, are in bold colors and incorporate the very few vocabulary words into the imagery well. Susskind chooses related, alliterative word pairs for each spread, and the combinations are often clever and occasionally truly delightful. The dandelion flies farther away from its original home, dancing in the air past farms and mountains, bumping into—and sleeping on—clouds. In the “drip / dry” pair, a poor, soaked seed is caught in a storm, but after the rain ends, it quickly spins dry. Finally, after tickling a baby and beckoning a dog to chase it, the seed falls to the ground, where it can “rest” and “root.” In a quick development, the seed plants itself and grows into a dandelion with a huge yellow tuft. But that golden crown doesn’t last, and soon the adult dandelion’s head is full of a brand new batch of seeds, just waiting for a child to come along and wish them onto their own journeys. The illustrations throughout are always cheerful; even when soaked, the seed looks like it’s having a tremendous amount of fun, and the happy expression it has when, as a growing dandelion, it’s chatting with a bee will make readers want to smile right along. The faces of the children are not quite as approachable as the cartoonish seed, and the background details are often rudimentary, but young readers may be satisfied with the basic, soft illustrations. It’s the words and word pairs here that inspire the most fun, however, and Susskind’s selections, sometimes obvious and other times surprising, will let newly independent readers gain confidence while experimenting with sounding out words on their own.

An approachable concept book for very early beginning readers with word pairs and illustrations sure to inspire grins—and maybe some wishes of their own.

Pub Date: Nov. 17, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-9857032-8-8

Page Count: 34

Publisher: Good Manners Kids Stuff Press

Review Posted Online: March 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2016

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ABIYOYO RETURNS

The seemingly ageless Seeger brings back his renowned giant for another go in a tuneful tale that, like the art, is a bit sketchy, but chockful of worthy messages. Faced with yearly floods and droughts since they’ve cut down all their trees, the townsfolk decide to build a dam—but the project is stymied by a boulder that is too huge to move. Call on Abiyoyo, suggests the granddaughter of the man with the magic wand, then just “Zoop Zoop” him away again. But the rock that Abiyoyo obligingly flings aside smashes the wand. How to avoid Abiyoyo’s destruction now? Sing the monster to sleep, then make it a peaceful, tree-planting member of the community, of course. Seeger sums it up in a postscript: “every community must learn to manage its giants.” Hays, who illustrated the original (1986), creates colorful, if unfinished-looking, scenes featuring a notably multicultural human cast and a towering Cubist fantasy of a giant. The song, based on a Xhosa lullaby, still has that hard-to-resist sing-along potential, and the themes of waging peace, collective action, and the benefits of sound ecological practices are presented in ways that children will both appreciate and enjoy. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-83271-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2001

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A DOG NAMED SAM

A book that will make young dog-owners smile in recognition and confirm dogless readers' worst suspicions about the mayhem caused by pets, even winsome ones. Sam, who bears passing resemblance to an affable golden retriever, is praised for fetching the family newspaper, and goes on to fetch every other newspaper on the block. In the next story, only the children love Sam's swimming; he is yelled at by lifeguards and fishermen alike when he splashes through every watering hole he can find. Finally, there is woe to the entire family when Sam is bored and lonely for one long night. Boland has an essential message, captured in both both story and illustrations of this Easy-to-Read: Kids and dogs belong together, especially when it's a fun-loving canine like Sam. An appealing tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8037-1530-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1996

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