JODY'S BEANS

This smart little story from Doyle, about growing a tepee of runner beans, can be extended to take in the big canvas—life itself—but its charm resides in the focus on a singular natural event. Jody and her grandfather prepare a patch of earth for some bean seeds. He comes back for intermittent visits, but it is up to Jody to tend the beans and report back to him by phone. Granda offers a measure of advice, but doesn’t pile on the directions, allowing Jody to exercise her powers of observation and gathering experience to get it right. Her attentiveness leads to great pleasure in the growth of the vines, the red flowers, the beans themselves (“ ‘Oh,’ said Jody. ‘I didn’t know we were going to eat them’ “). Meanwhile, Jody’s mother is growing larger with pregnancy, but that subplot resides mostly in the illustrations. Come autumn, the big beans on the top of the tepee yield a surprise. The story resembles a fine reduction sauce, as Doyle’s imagery and newcomer Allibone’s delicate, framed watercolors yield a rich, concentrated delight. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-7636-0687-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1999

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CAT AND MOUSE IN THE SNOW

In this picture book adventure of a now-familiar duo (Cat and Mouse and Something to Do, 1998, etc.), Bogacki describes how the curious cat and the curious mouse explore the green meadow turned white with snow. The two friends climb up the hill, then slide down, down, down. Meanwhile the other mice and cats wake up and go outside to find their siblings. They come upon the two friends covered in white snow and mistake them for monsters. Shrieks turn to delight, and everyone has a great time playing in the snow. When night comes they return to their respective homes to dream of snow. The soft chalk illustrations in grey, tan, and white on blue paper show flat stylized animals in a snowy world. Children will enjoy the brief repetitive text; adults will be glad to have an appealing alternative to Ezra Jack Keats’s The Snowy Day. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 18, 1999

ISBN: 0-374-31192-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1999

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SWEET DREAMS

HOW ANIMALS SLEEP

This charming picture book explores how various animals sleep. Each double page provides one line of loosely rhyming text framed in a wide pale yellow border, and a full-color photograph of a particular animal also framed in soothing yellow. Among the animals are the horse, chipmunk, bear, sloth, koala, bat, and shark. The photographs are clear and appealing, but sharp-eyed viewers will notice that a couple of the animals are not sleeping, no matter what the text says. Kajikawa concludes with additional information on the sleep habits of animals. Some information is not consistent with that reported by other science writers, e.g., on the sleeping habits of horses, but this remains an appealing book on a subject that fascinates children. (Picture book/nonfiction. 4-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8050-5890-7

Page Count: 29

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1999

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