All in all, it’s a great way to introduce bird behavior without lecturing—young children will feel like hopping, pecking,...

HOORAY FOR BIRDS!

An exuberant celebration of birds of all kinds—mostly recognizable species (chicken, flamingo, swan, parrot, starling, penguin, ostrich, peacock) but some imaginary.

This is vintage Cousins, although absent her abiding protagonist, the lively mouse Maisy. The tone is set with the opening spread: “Can you imagine… / just for one day… / you’re a busy bird? / Yes, a bird! / Hooray!” Cousins’ unique handmade style, characterized by a bright, highly saturated color palette and scratchy black outlines, together with the charming rhyming narrative in easy-to-read bold handwriting, will give preschoolers lots of inspiration for exploring bird behaviors and imitating bird sounds. It’s easy to imagine using this as a starting point for a bird-themed activity with a group. The text exhorts readers to “Flap your wings” and “Hop, hop, hop”; to “swim along / and / stretch / up / your / neck”; to “Scratch the ground / with your feet,” and “Catch / a / fly / with / your / beak.” The cozy ending showing a baby parrot cuddling up close with Mama in his nest and the rear endpapers of sleeping birds are perfect for naptime.

All in all, it’s a great way to introduce bird behavior without lecturing—young children will feel like hopping, pecking, and soaring with these exuberant feathered friends. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9265-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S HALLOWEEN

A lift-the-flap book gives the littlest trick-or-treaters some practice identifying partygoers under their costumes.

Little Blue Truck and his buddy Toad are off to a party, and they invite readers (and a black cat) along for the ride: “ ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ / says Little Blue. / ‘It’s Halloween!’ / You come, too.” As they drive, they are surprised (and joined) by many of their friends in costume. “Who’s that in a tutu / striking a pose / up on the tiniest / tips of her toes? / Under the mask / who do you see?” Lifting the flap unmasks a friend: “ ‘Quack!’ says the duck. / ‘It’s me! It’s me!’ ” The sheep is disguised as a clown, the cow’s a queen, the pig’s a witch, the hen and her chick are pirates, and the horse is a dragon. Not to be left out, Little Blue has a costume, too. The flaps are large and sturdy, and enough of the animals’ characteristic features are visible under and around the costumes that little ones will be able to make successful guesses even on the first reading. Lovely curvy shapes and autumn colors fade to dusky blues as night falls, and children are sure to notice the traditional elements of a Halloween party: apple bobbing, lit jack-o’-lanterns, and punch and treats.

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-77253-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

Innovative and thoroughly enjoyable.

ANIMAL SHAPES

You think you know shapes? Animals? Blend them together, and you might see them both a little differently!

What a mischievous twist on a concept book! With wordplay and a few groan-inducing puns, Neal creates connections among animals and shapes that are both unexpected and so seemingly obvious that readers might wonder why they didn’t see them all along. Of course, a “lazy turtle” meeting an oval would create the side-splitting combo of a “SLOW-VAL.” A dramatic page turn transforms a deeply saturated, clean-lined green oval by superimposing a head and turtle shell atop, with watery blue ripples completing the illusion. Minimal backgrounds and sketchy, impressionistic detailing keep the focus right on the zany animals. Beginning with simple shapes, the geometric forms become more complicated as the book advances, taking readers from a “soaring bird” that meets a triangle to become a “FLY-ANGLE” to a “sleepy lion” nonagon “YAWN-AGON.” Its companion text, Animal Colors, delves into color theory, this time creating entirely hybrid animals, such as the “GREEN WHION” with maned head and whale’s tail made from a “blue whale and a yellow lion.” It’s a compelling way to visualize color mixing, and like Animal Shapes, it’s got verve. Who doesn’t want to shout out that a yellow kangaroo/green moose blend is a “CHARTREUSE KANGAMOOSE”?

Innovative and thoroughly enjoyable. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0534-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more