Pleasant bedtime reading with unassuming color and morality lessons.



This chapter book for early readers by Australian educators Ireland and Lewer (Literacy for Littlies, 1999) introduces children to colors.

These short stories all center on color themes, opening and closing with tales of rainbows. In between, the works focus on the hues of the spectrum—roughly in ROYGBIV order, although the authors substitute “purple” for “violet”—followed by stories about nonrainbow colors (such as black, turquoise, and gold, among others). Most tales also offer a simple lesson, such as the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer–like “The Little Rainbow Dragon,” in which the titular character is teased by peers for being different until they recognize his unique skill—in this case, breathing rainbow-toned flames. “A Story about Red and Orange” and “A Story about Black” may disturb some younger readers, as they feature a forest fire and scary storm, respectively; however, in both, children work through their fears. Like the dragon, other protagonists feel left out for being different but eventually become accepted. The main characters are primarily white children, but others show a range of skin tones. There are a few anthropomorphic animals and even a tractor with feelings. The inclusion of questions at the ends of some stories (such as “What things can you find that are indigo?”) encourages dialogue between adults and children, and colorful illustrations enhance the text throughout. The farm and country settings in many stories imply a romanticized earlier and simpler time, which may be soothing to young readers but doesn’t break new ground.

Pleasant bedtime reading with unassuming color and morality lessons.

Pub Date: July 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5434-0247-6

Page Count: 60

Publisher: XlibrisAU

Review Posted Online: Dec. 19, 2017

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Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit.


From the There’s a…in Your Book series

Readers try to dislodge a monster from the pages of this emotive and interactive read-aloud.

“OH NO!” the story starts. “There’s a monster in your book!” The blue, round-headed monster with pink horns and a pink-tipped tail can be seen cheerfully munching on the opening page. “Let’s try to get him out,” declares the narrator. Readers are encouraged to shake, tilt, and spin the book around, while the monster careens around an empty background looking scared and lost. Viewers are exhorted to tickle the monster’s feet, blow on the page, and make a really loud noise. Finally, shockingly, it works: “Now he’s in your room!” But clearly a monster in your book is safer than a monster in your room, so he’s coaxed back into the illustrations and lulled to sleep, curled up under one page and cuddling a bit of another like a child with their blankie. The monster’s entirely cute appearance and clear emotional reactions to his treatment add to the interactive aspect, and some young readers might even resist the instructions to avoid hurting their new pal. Children will be brought along on the monster’s journey, going from excited, noisy, and wiggly to calm and steady (one can hope).

Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6456-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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Unhei has just left her Korean homeland and come to America with her parents. As she rides the school bus toward her first day of school, she remembers the farewell at the airport in Korea and examines the treasured gift her grandmother gave her: a small red pouch containing a wooden block on which Unhei’s name is carved. Unhei is ashamed when the children on the bus find her name difficult to pronounce and ridicule it. Lesson learned, she declines to tell her name to anyone else and instead offers, “Um, I haven’t picked one yet. But I’ll let you know next week.” Her classmates write suggested names on slips of paper and place them in a jar. One student, Joey, takes a particular liking to Unhei and sees the beauty in her special stamp. When the day arrives for Unhei to announce her chosen name, she discovers how much Joey has helped. Choi (Earthquake, see below, etc.) draws from her own experience, interweaving several issues into this touching account and delicately addressing the challenges of assimilation. The paintings are done in creamy, earth-tone oils and augment the story nicely. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 10, 2001

ISBN: 0-375-80613-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2001

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