NOAH’S BED

Among the raft of Noah’s Ark retellings flooding the Bible story shelves, this interpretation stands out by focusing on a smaller part of the tale. The cumulative story looks at just a few of the animal pairs and three of the humans that might have been aboard the Ark: Noah, his wife, and his young grandson, called Eber. The noises of the great storm in turn frighten four pairs of animals and then the little boy, who takes refuge in his grandparents’ big bed (which is actually a rowboat). In humorous fashion the grandparents discover that the crowded and noisy conditions in their bed aren’t really due to their grandson, but to the animals that are hiding in fear under the quilt. The author skillfully uses elements of suspense and humor along with rich, evocative language in her simple but satisfying story, complemented by the amusing watercolor illustrations. Grandpa Noah might not know who is in his bed, but there are plenty of clues for children to discover (starting with the animals’ silhouettes on the cover), so that youngsters will be able to predict the humorous conclusion. As a riff on the Noah’s Ark story, this succeeds swimmingly. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2004

ISBN: 1-84507-002-X

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2004

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I CAN BE ANYTHING!

A young boy wonders aloud to a rabbit friend what he will be when he grows up and imagines some outrageous choices. “Puddle stomper,” “bubble gum popper,” “mixing-bowl licker,” “baby-sis soother” are just some of the 24 inspiringly creative vocations Spinelli’s young dreamer envisions in this pithy rhymed account. Aided by Liao’s cleverly integrated full-bleed mixed-media illustrations, which radiate every hue of the rainbow, and dynamic typesetting with words that swoop and dive, the author’s perspective on this adult-inspired question yields some refreshingly child-oriented answers. Given such an irresistible array of options—“So many jobs! / They’re all such fun”—the boy in the end decides, in an exuberant double gatefold, “I’m going to choose… / EVERY ONE!”—a conclusion befitting a generation expected to have more than six careers each. Without parents or peers around to corral this carefree child’s dreams, the possibilities of being whatever one wants appear both limitless and attainable. An inspired take on a timeless question. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-316-16226-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

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ONE BEAN

PLB 0-8027-8649-9 The simple life cycle of a bean provides a practical and understandable example of scientific observation for budding young naturalists. Starting with a hand shown holding a single bean, readers journey full circle from soaking, planting, and watering, to flowering, harvesting, and eating. Uncluttered three-dimensional artwork complements the short, simple text; each stage of the bean’s transformation from seed to vegetable is shown in large scale, drawn so realistically that the texture of the skin seems to show the strain as the bean gets ready to put down roots. This is an ideal book for classrooms where students can’t resist the temptation to keep “checking” on their bean plants. (Picture book/nonfiction. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-8027-8648-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Walker

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1998

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