Best suited for those who scan the winter skies.

THE LITTLE SNOWPLOW WISHES FOR SNOW

Mother Nature doesn’t always play fair when it comes to hopes and dreams.

After having proven his worth in The Little Snowplow (2015), the titular hero returns to face a hitherto unforeseen challenge. While he’s perfectly happy to aid the Mighty Mountain Road Crew during the warm months, this snowplow yearns endlessly for the return of frozen precipitation. As the months grow colder and the temperature plummets, he gazes at weather reports, drives to the tops of mountains, and celebrates the winter solstice, desperate for big wet flakes. But by the time his March birthday approaches, it looks like a thick snowfall may never happen. Then, on the day in question, the miraculous occurs. But can it be possible to have too much of a good thing? Luckily, the snowplow has his friends to help him out. Any child who has ever gazed longingly at a steely winter sky will identify with this snowplow’s ceaseless expectations. Parker’s illustrations give the snowplow an expressive grille, capable of conveying hope as well as crushing disappointment. The jollity is palpable, although the book may serve as a depressingly timely tale in this era of global warming.

Best suited for those who scan the winter skies. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0117-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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A TREE IS NICE

A nursery school approach to a general concept. "A tree is nice"- Why? Because..."We can climb the tree...play pirate ship...pick the apples...build playhouses out of the leaves. A tree is nice to hang a swing in...Birds build nests in trees... Sticks come off trees...People have picnics there too"...etc. etc. One follows the give and take of a shared succession of reactions to what a tree- or trees- can mean. There is a kind of poetic simplicity that is innate in small children. Marc Simont has made the pictures, half in full color, and they too have a childlike directness (with an underlying sophistication that adults will recognize). Not a book for everyone -but those who like it will like it immensely. The format (6 x 11) makes it a difficult book for shelving, so put it in the "clean hands" section of flat books. Here's your first book for Arbor Day use- a good spring and summer item.

Pub Date: June 15, 1956

ISBN: 978-0-06-443147-7

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Harper

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1956

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A welcome addition to autumnal storytelling—and to tales of traditional enemies overcoming their history.

THE SCARECROW

Ferry and the Fans portray a popular seasonal character’s unlikely friendship.

Initially, the protagonist is shown in his solitary world: “Scarecrow stands alone and scares / the fox and deer, / the mice and crows. / It’s all he does. It’s all he knows.” His presence is effective; the animals stay outside the fenced-in fields, but the omniscient narrator laments the character’s lack of friends or places to go. Everything changes when a baby crow falls nearby. Breaking his pole so he can bend, the scarecrow picks it up, placing the creature in the bib of his overalls while singing a lullaby. Both abandon natural tendencies until the crow learns to fly—and thus departs. The aabb rhyme scheme flows reasonably well, propelling the narrative through fall, winter, and spring, when the mature crow returns with a mate to build a nest in the overalls bib that once was his home. The Fan brothers capture the emotional tenor of the seasons and the main character in their panoramic pencil, ballpoint, and digital compositions. Particularly poignant is the close-up of the scarecrow’s burlap face, his stitched mouth and leaf-rimmed head conveying such sadness after his companion goes. Some adults may wonder why the scarecrow seems to have only partial agency, but children will be tuned into the problem, gratified by the resolution.

A welcome addition to autumnal storytelling—and to tales of traditional enemies overcoming their history. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-247576-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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