Adams’ vocabulary is just right for lap reading, and the happy ending to the silly mistake—and Tansy’s subsequent bedtime...

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GO TO SLEEP!

A wide-awake sheep echoes the story of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” in this humorous British import from debut author Adams and veteran illustrator Wills (Annie’s Grannies in Decorating Disaster, 2017, etc.).

Tansy lamb can’t get to sleep. She asks her mum if it’s time to get up—but, of course, it’s not even close. Tansy asks first her mother, then her sister, Teasel, for sleeping advice, but nothing works. Finally, the barn owl tells Tansy she should count sheep, so Tansy does, but she finds only 19 sheep in her flock instead of the 20 that should be there. After a charming interlude of worried imaginings worthy of Frog and Toad or Elephant and Piggie, she wakes everyone to find the missing sheep. The sheep are in a tizzy until the sheepdog arrives to reveal that Tansy forgot to count herself. Now all the sheep are wide-awake—except Tansy, who finally falls asleep. Wills’ sheep are wonderfully fluffy, and the green moors and blue sky are cozy for bedtime storytelling. Tansy’s expressions, and her endearing attempts at falling asleep, will resonate with young readers who have had the problem themselves. Elementary readers are likely to realize Tansy’s mistake before the sheepdog and chuckle at being right.

Adams’ vocabulary is just right for lap reading, and the happy ending to the silly mistake—and Tansy’s subsequent bedtime success—will make this a nighttime favorite.

Pub Date: April 27, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9930794-7-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Full Media Ltd

Review Posted Online: Oct. 30, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2017

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More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves

MAYBE

A young child explores the unlimited potential inherent in all humans.

“Have you ever wondered why you are here?” asks the second-person narration. There is no one like you. Maybe you’re here to make a difference with your uniqueness; maybe you will speak for those who can’t or use your gifts to shine a light into the darkness. The no-frills, unrhymed narrative encourages readers to follow their hearts and tap into their limitless potential to be anything and do anything. The precisely inked and colored artwork plays with perspective from the first double-page spread, in which the child contemplates a mountain (or maybe an iceberg) in their hands. Later, they stand on a ladder to place white spots on tall, red mushrooms. The oversized flora and fauna seem to symbolize the presumptively insurmountable, reinforcing the book’s message that anything is possible. This quiet read, with its sophisticated central question, encourages children to reach for their untapped potential while reminding them it won’t be easy—they will make messes and mistakes—but the magic within can help overcome falls and failures. It’s unlikely that members of the intended audience have begun to wonder about their life’s purpose, but this life-affirming mood piece has honorable intentions. The child, accompanied by an adorable piglet and sporting overalls and a bird-beaked cap made of leaves, presents white.

More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves . (Picture book. 2-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-946873-75-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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Visually accomplished but marred by stereotypical cultural depictions.

HOME

Ellis, known for her illustrations for Colin Meloy’s Wildwood series, here riffs on the concept of “home.”

Shifting among homes mundane and speculative, contemporary and not, Ellis begins and ends with views of her own home and a peek into her studio. She highlights palaces and mansions, but she also takes readers to animal homes and a certain famously folkloric shoe (whose iconic Old Woman manages a passel of multiethnic kids absorbed in daring games). One spread showcases “some folks” who “live on the road”; a band unloads its tour bus in front of a theater marquee. Ellis’ compelling ink and gouache paintings, in a palette of blue-grays, sepia and brick red, depict scenes ranging from mythical, underwater Atlantis to a distant moonscape. Another spread, depicting a garden and large building under connected, transparent domes, invites readers to wonder: “Who in the world lives here? / And why?” (Earth is seen as a distant blue marble.) Some of Ellis’ chosen depictions, oddly juxtaposed and stripped of any historical or cultural context due to the stylized design and spare text, become stereotypical. “Some homes are boats. / Some homes are wigwams.” A sailing ship’s crew seems poised to land near a trio of men clad in breechcloths—otherwise unidentified and unremarked upon.

Visually accomplished but marred by stereotypical cultural depictions. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 24, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6529-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

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