Early one morning, a young volcano wakes up, too sleepy to explode…just yet. But everyone knows the time is coming. The wild ferns unfurl and shake loose. The lava crickets can’t wait for their next meal. And the black road—well, he knows to proceed with caution. Sixteen poems told in alternating viewpoints show a day in the life of this tiny, sizzling spitfire. Like a toddler in a temper tantrum when it finally blows (“Look at me! / I can fling cinders / and ash into the sky. I can / huff and chuff and pour rivers of / lava down my side”), everything around it changes. From clever acrostics to bantering text messages, Peters playfully mixes poetry forms. Add Jenkins’s cottony clouds and molten lava in his signature collage style, and the package makes for one hot topic. It’s a great and apt companion to the poet’s Earthshakes: Poems from the Ground Up, illustrated by Cathie Felstead (2003). Informative endnotes give scientific tidbits, along with Hawaiian pronunciation guides. (further reading) (Poetry/informational picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 30, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-8050-8287-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Dec. 27, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2010

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A snow-covered countryside may look barren of life, but Stewart’s quiet text takes readers under the blanket of white to “a hidden world” where ladybugs sleep en masse and voles tunnel from tree to tree, where a wood frog freezes safely solid and bluegills and waterboatmen share frigid waters, where a turtle lies buried in mud and “even on the coldest winter days, red-spotted newts dodge and dart, whiz and whirl just below the ice.” Bergum’s equally quiet watercolors spread across the pages in panels that offer cross-sections and magnified details to give readers glimpses of the world beneath the snow. Their precision lends a dignity and beauty even to a sleeping centipede and a barbeled carp. Readers will come away with an appreciation for the adaptability and endurance of the animal world. (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-1-56145-493-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2009

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An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way.


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

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