The lively interiors belie the word “Sleep” in the title; this is high-energy fun.

READ REVIEW

HIDE-AND-SLEEP

A FLIP-FLAP BOOK

This split-paged book with a tall trim encourages the youngest readers to look closely at the forest and meadow scenes.

Every other leaf is intentionally sliced in two a little over halfway down the page, encouraging readers to play a game of hide-and-seek and search for critters behind trees, flowers, sloping hills, rocks, and more. When the page or pages are turned, more creatures (everything from fish to a squirrel) reveal themselves, and readers can make three different double-page spreads out of two. Gentle, two-word phrases caption the endearing images: “Turtle peeks” and “Raccoon sneaks.” In the bottom of every recto is the question: “Who is hiding?” In the penultimate pages, Boyd reveals that “No one!” was hiding and, then, after the sun goes down, depicts “Everyone!” sleeping except for a hooting owl. The true stars here are Boyd’s friendly, stylized images in rich colors, both cool and warm, bejeweled with an array of simple shapes and patterns. The split pages may not offer enough variety when turned for a true hide-and-seek experience, but their rounded corners are a thoughtful detail for the littlest readers.

The lively interiors belie the word “Sleep” in the title; this is high-energy fun. (Board book. 6 mos.-3)

Pub Date: April 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4521-7096-1

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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A comical, fresh look at crayons and color

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THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT

Duncan wants to draw, but instead of crayons, he finds a stack of letters listing the crayons’ demands in this humorous tale.

Red is overworked, laboring even on holidays. Gray is exhausted from coloring expansive spaces (elephants, rhinos and whales). Black wants to be considered a color-in color, and Peach? He’s naked without his wrapper! This anthropomorphized lot amicably requests workplace changes in hand-lettered writing, explaining their work stoppage to a surprised Duncan. Some are tired, others underutilized, while a few want official titles. With a little creativity and a lot of color, Duncan saves the day. Jeffers delivers energetic and playful illustrations, done in pencil, paint and crayon. The drawings are loose and lively, and with few lines, he makes his characters effectively emote. Clever spreads, such as Duncan’s “white cat in the snow” perfectly capture the crayons’ conundrum, and photographic representations of both the letters and coloring pages offer another layer of texture, lending to the tale’s overall believability.

A comical, fresh look at crayons and color . (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-399-25537-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

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A riotously fresh take on breaking the fourth wall.

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THE BOOK WITH NO PICTURES

This book may not have pictures, but it’s sure to inspire lots of conversations—and laughs.

Television writer, actor and comedian Novak delivers a rare find, indeed: a very good celebrity picture book. It doesn’t even seem fair to call it such, since it has nothing to do with his Emmy Award–winning writing for The Office or the fame his broader career has afforded him. The jacket flap even eschews a glossy photo, instead saying “B.J. has brown hair and blue eyes,” in order to keep with the book’s central conceit. What this book does have is text, and it’s presented through artful typography that visually conveys its changing tone to guide oral readings. Furthermore, the text implies (or rather, demands) a shared reading transaction, in which an adult is compelled to read the text aloud, no matter how “COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS” it is. Employing direct address, it pleads with the implied child listener to allow him or her to stop reading. Nonsense words, silly words to be sung and even a smattering of potty talk for good measure all coalesce in riotous read-aloud fare. Although the closing pages beg the implied child reader to “please please please please / please / choose a book with pictures” for subsequent reading, it’s likely that this request will be ignored.

A riotously fresh take on breaking the fourth wall. (. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8037-4171-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2014

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