A sweet, charming story of overcoming familiar difficulties during the hectic holiday season, with the help of those who...

OLIVER ELEPHANT

Noah and his little sister, Evie-May, are Christmas shopping with Mommy.

The family heads to a “Christmassy shop” with a long gift list. Evie-May is in a stroller, and Noah has a stuffed elephant named Oliver with him. Noah’s love for his favorite toy is evident in the first few illustrations, and the two have lots of imaginary fun with all of the colorful merchandise in the store while Mommy checks names off of the list. Their adventure, complete with the odd mishap or two, is delivered in rhyming text and light, airy, expressive illustrations. Noah and Oliver eventually tire of shopping, and they all stop at a cafe, where a slice of chocolate cake brings a smile back to Noah’s face—but Oliver slips off Noah’s seat, and they leave without him. When Noah discovers that Oliver is lost, he panics. Children will relate to Noah’s anguish as he, Mommy, and Evie-May retrace their steps, revisiting all of the places they’d been, with no luck. Noah cries, “Oliver Elephant, where can you be? / Oliver Elephant, come back to me!” Children will delight in discovering Oliver’s hiding place. Some sharp-eyed readers may even have predicted where he’s been.

A sweet, charming story of overcoming familiar difficulties during the hectic holiday season, with the help of those who love you. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 25, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0266-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

This celebration of cross-generational bonding is a textual and artistic tour de force.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2015

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

  • Caldecott Honor Book

  • Newbery Medal Winner

LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET

A young boy yearns for what he doesn’t have, but his nana teaches him to find beauty in what he has and can give, as well as in the city where they live.

CJ doesn’t want to wait in the rain or take the bus or go places after church. But through Nana’s playful imagination and gentle leadership, he begins to see each moment as an opportunity: Trees drink raindrops from straws; the bus breathes fire; and each person has a story to tell. On the bus, Nana inspires an impromptu concert, and CJ’s lifted into a daydream of colors and light, moon and magic. Later, when walking past broken streetlamps on the way to the soup kitchen, CJ notices a rainbow and thinks of his nana’s special gift to see “beautiful where he never even thought to look.” Through de la Peña’s brilliant text, readers can hear, feel and taste the city: its grit and beauty, its quiet moments of connectedness. Robinson’s exceptional artwork works with it to ensure that readers will fully understand CJ’s journey toward appreciation of the vibrant, fascinating fabric of the city. Loosely defined patterns and gestures offer an immediate and raw quality to the Sasek-like illustrations. Painted in a warm palette, this diverse urban neighborhood is imbued with interest and possibility.

This celebration of cross-generational bonding is a textual and artistic tour de force. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-399-25774-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Oct. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A forgettable tale.

THE LITTLEST REINDEER

Dot, the smallest reindeer at the North Pole, is too little to fly with the reindeer team on Christmas Eve, but she helps Santa in a different, unexpected way.

Dot is distressed because she can’t jump and fly like the other, bigger reindeer. Her family members encourage her and help her practice her skills, and her mother tells her, “There’s always next year.” Dot’s elf friend, Oliver, encourages her and spends time playing with her, doing things that Dot can do well, such as building a snowman and chasing their friend Yeti (who looks like a fuzzy, white gumdrop). On Christmas Eve, Santa and the reindeer team take off with their overloaded sleigh. Only Dot notices one small present that’s fallen in the snow, and she successfully leaps into the departing sleigh with the gift. This climactic flying leap into the sleigh is not adequately illustrated, as Dot is shown just starting to leap and then already in the sleigh. A saccharine conclusion notes that being little can sometimes be great and that “having a friend by your side makes anything possible.” The story is pleasant but predictable, with an improbably easy solution to Dot’s problem. Illustrations in a muted palette are similarly pleasant but predictable, with a greeting-card flavor that lacks originality. The elf characters include boys, girls, and adults; all the elves and Santa and Mrs. Claus are white.

A forgettable tale. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-338-15738-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

more