What habitat is left for Berkes to explore? Readers and teachers will hope at least one.

OVER ON A MOUNTAIN

SOMEWHERE IN THE WORLD

Berkes continues her “Over in the Meadow”–based series of early science books with this look at animals that live in the mountains.

This diverse habitat can be found on every continent, and Berkes does a nice job of including at least one mountain range from each and identifying and mapping it on details that accompany the illustrations as well as on a large world map in the backmatter. Most of the verses scan well, whether read or sung, though readers may stumble on the gorilla verse: “Over on a mountain / Where leaves and berries thrive, / Lived a shy mother gorilla / And her little babies five.” The animals range from the familiar—emperor penguins and pandas—to those that may be new to young readers—Alpine ibex and wombats. Llamas, snow leopards, eagles, mountain lions and yaks complete the menagerie. As with most in this series, the artwork stands out for its beauty and craftsmanship. Dubin’s textured cut- and torn-paper illustrations evoke both animals and habitats—fur looks soft, rocks look hard, and one can almost smell the greenery, though the scenes are less realistic than cute. And the backmatter adds significantly to the learning experience with paragraphs about mountain habitats, the featured animals and the bonus hidden animals. Author’s and illustrator’s notes give hints on how to extend the fun and learning and tell how the art was created.

What habitat is left for Berkes to explore? Readers and teachers will hope at least one. (music score) (Informational picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-58469-518-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dawn Publications

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2014

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While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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A comical, fresh look at crayons and color

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THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT

Duncan wants to draw, but instead of crayons, he finds a stack of letters listing the crayons’ demands in this humorous tale.

Red is overworked, laboring even on holidays. Gray is exhausted from coloring expansive spaces (elephants, rhinos and whales). Black wants to be considered a color-in color, and Peach? He’s naked without his wrapper! This anthropomorphized lot amicably requests workplace changes in hand-lettered writing, explaining their work stoppage to a surprised Duncan. Some are tired, others underutilized, while a few want official titles. With a little creativity and a lot of color, Duncan saves the day. Jeffers delivers energetic and playful illustrations, done in pencil, paint and crayon. The drawings are loose and lively, and with few lines, he makes his characters effectively emote. Clever spreads, such as Duncan’s “white cat in the snow” perfectly capture the crayons’ conundrum, and photographic representations of both the letters and coloring pages offer another layer of texture, lending to the tale’s overall believability.

A comical, fresh look at crayons and color . (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-399-25537-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

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