A treat for the eye, ear, and heart.

GOODNIGHT SONGS

A CELEBRATION OF THE SEASONS

A multimedia tribute to the great picture-book writer in her own words.

This sumptuous compilation not only brings together a dozen songs by the late author of Goodnight Moon, here given new visual life in evocative spreads by 12 award-winning illustrators, but also includes a CD of Brown’s lyrics set to music and performed by Tom Proutt and Emily Gary. As a whole, these nature-based songs look to animals and the seasons to remind children of the pleasures of the outdoors. Illustrators Peter Brown, Floyd Cooper, Blanca Gómez, Satoe Tone, and eight others capture the essence of bees and birds in flight, leaves adrift on the wind, or light, imagined situations like a kitten’s dream or a cat the size of a pussy willow. Musically, a number of the songs, such as the magical “Snowfall,” have a soft, lilting quality sure to help young listeners off to dreamland, while a couple of the more memorable settings might have the opposite effect. The sharp baritone-sax honks of “Buzz, Buzz, Buzz” graphically emulate bees at work “in the solemn heat,” for instance. While the collection is no doubt titled to evoke its author’s most renowned work, overall these songs prove anything but drowsy.

A treat for the eye, ear, and heart. (Picture book/poetry. 3-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 4, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4549-0447-2

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: May 6, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2015

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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 good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.

MAMA BUILT A LITTLE NEST

Echoing the meter of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” Ward uses catchy original rhymes to describe the variety of nests birds create.

Each sweet stanza is complemented by a factual, engaging description of the nesting habits of each bird. Some of the notes are intriguing, such as the fact that the hummingbird uses flexible spider web to construct its cup-shaped nest so the nest will stretch as the chicks grow. An especially endearing nesting behavior is that of the emperor penguin, who, with unbelievable patience, incubates the egg between his tummy and his feet for up to 60 days. The author clearly feels a mission to impart her extensive knowledge of birds and bird behavior to the very young, and she’s found an appealing and attractive way to accomplish this. The simple rhymes on the left page of each spread, written from the young bird’s perspective, will appeal to younger children, and the notes on the right-hand page of each spread provide more complex factual information that will help parents answer further questions and satisfy the curiosity of older children. Jenkins’ accomplished collage illustrations of common bird species—woodpecker, hummingbird, cowbird, emperor penguin, eagle, owl, wren—as well as exotics, such as flamingoes and hornbills, are characteristically naturalistic and accurate in detail.

A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.   (author’s note, further resources) (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2116-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2014

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