VOLCANO WAKES UP!

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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JOHNNY APPLESEED

Though she never says outright that he was a real person, Kurtz introduces newly emergent readers to the historical John Chapman, walking along the Ohio, planting apple seeds, and bartering seedlings to settlers for food and clothing. Haverfield supplies the legendary portions of his tale, with views of a smiling, stylishly ragged, clean-shaven young man, pot on head, wildlife on shoulder or trailing along behind. Kurtz caps her short, rhythmic text with an invitation to “Clap your hands for Johnny Chapman. / Clap your hands for Johnny Appleseed!” An appealing way to open discussions of our country’s historical or legendary past. (Easy reader/nonfiction. 5-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-689-85958-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2004

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UNDER THE SNOW

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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