Rhythmic storytelling and gorgeous illustrations make this a delight.

READ REVIEW

MY RAINY DAY ROCKET SHIP

Painterly oils accompany rhyming verse to describe one imaginative child’s rainy-day adventure.

A child and the family dog are stuck inside on a wet day and must find alternative ways to entertain themselves. Tried-and-true toys like cars, teddy bears, and balls are fun for a time, but after a while, the youth must find something with a bit more heft. Reaching into the farthest corners of the imagination, the child conjures “a whole new world / in a different place— / a galaxy off in / outer space!” Scanning the room, the child identifies a rocking chair as the perfect rocket ship. To create the launching pad, the child borrows some of Dad’s tools and a cardboard box full of socks. For a cool spacesuit, the child finds some patterned yellow swim trunks and goggles. For a flag, the child uses “Mom’s old dishrag.” With some additional help from Mom and Dad, the launch is an incredible success. An old broom provides thrust down the hall. The child lands perfectly in bed and prepares for a “safe arrival” in the “Land of ZZZZZZs.” The illustrations love this black family, highlighting the glow of their skin and luxuriating in the narrator’s abundant, textured curls. The lavish application of paint—broader than in most picture books—means this will show especially well in a group setting.

Rhythmic storytelling and gorgeous illustrations make this a delight. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-6177-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Denene Millner Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Earnest and silly by turns, it doesn’t quite capture the attention or the imagination, although surely its heart is in the...

ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER

Rhymed couplets convey the story of a girl who likes to build things but is shy about it. Neither the poetry nor Rosie’s projects always work well.

Rosie picks up trash and oddments where she finds them, stashing them in her attic room to work on at night. Once, she made a hat for her favorite zookeeper uncle to keep pythons away, and he laughed so hard that she never made anything publicly again. But when her great-great-aunt Rose comes to visit and reminds Rosie of her own past building airplanes, she expresses her regret that she still has not had the chance to fly. Great-great-aunt Rose is visibly modeled on Rosie the Riveter, the iconic, red-bandanna–wearing poster woman from World War II. Rosie decides to build a flying machine and does so (it’s a heli-o-cheese-copter), but it fails. She’s just about to swear off making stuff forever when Aunt Rose congratulates her on her failure; now she can go on to try again. Rosie wears her hair swooped over one eye (just like great-great-aunt Rose), and other figures have exaggerated hairdos, tiny feet and elongated or greatly rounded bodies. The detritus of Rosie’s collections is fascinating, from broken dolls and stuffed animals to nails, tools, pencils, old lamps and possibly an erector set. And cheddar-cheese spray.

Earnest and silly by turns, it doesn’t quite capture the attention or the imagination, although surely its heart is in the right place. (historical note) (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0845-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Cool and stylish.

ADA TWIST, SCIENTIST

Her intellectual curiosity is surpassed only by her passion for science. But what to do about her messy experiments?

Ada is speechless until she turns 3. But once she learns how to break out of her crib, there’s no stopping the kinky-haired, brown-skinned girl. “She tore through the house on a fact-finding spree.” When she does start speaking, her favorite words are “why,” “how,” and “when.” Her parents, a fashion-forward black couple who sport a variety of trendy outfits, are dumbfounded, and her older brother can only point at her in astonishment. She amazes her friends with her experiments. Ada examines all the clocks in the house, studies the solar system, and analyzes all the smells she encounters. Fortunately, her parents stop her from putting the cat in the dryer, sending her instead to the Thinking Chair. But while there, she covers the wall with formulae. What can her parents do? Instead of punishing her passion, they decide to try to understand it. “It’s all in the heart of a young scientist.” Though her plot is negligible—Ada’s parents arguably change more than she does—Beaty delightfully advocates for girls in science in her now-trademark crisply rhyming text. Roberts’ illustrations, in watercolor, pen, and ink, manage to be both smart and silly; the page compositions artfully evoke the tumult of Ada’s curiosity, filling white backgrounds with questions and clutter.

Cool and stylish. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2137-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more