On the surface, a simple story of a fox; with help from an older reader, an intriguing visual representation of a beginning...

READ REVIEW

FOX EXPLORES THE NIGHT

From the First Science Storybook series

Jenkins and Smythe follow a fox’s search for food and introduce the concepts of light and dark to the very young.

As day turns to night, a fox comes out of her den. She is hungry. She steps cautiously down the path, looking for food. Jenkins acknowledges the fox’s keen eyesight (“She has sharp eyes…”) but in setting up the science-concept theme, mentions something that rings a bit untrue: “…but she still finds it hard to see when it is dark.” Dim light is indeed needed for his exploration of the theme, but the simplicity of the sentence downplays a fox’s nocturnal prowess. Regardless, moonlight, streetlights, car headlights, firelight, and flashlight beams all penetrate the night while the fox is on the hunt. Smythe’s saturated mixed-media illustrations punctuate the dusky blackness with pockets of bright spots to reinforce the lesson. Frontmatter reminds adult readers of themes to discuss: “Moonlight is light from the sun that has bounced off the moon.” Backmatter poses discussion questions: “Can you find examples of different light sources in the book?” A simple index, a trademark of the series, closes the book.

On the surface, a simple story of a fox; with help from an older reader, an intriguing visual representation of a beginning science theme. (Informational picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9883-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A $16.99 Mother’s Day card for cat lovers.

MOMMIES ARE AMAZING

The team of Costain and Lovšin (Daddies are Awesome, 2016) gives moms their due.

Rhyming verses tell of all the ways moms are amazing: “Mommies are magic. / They kiss away troubles… // …find gold in the sunlight / and rainbows in bubbles.” Moms are joyful—the best playmates. They are also fearless and will protect and soothe if you are scared. Clever moms know just what to do when you’re sad, sporty moms run and leap and climb, while tender moms cuddle. “My mommy’s so special. / I tell her each day… // … just how much I love her / in every way!” Whereas dads were illustrated with playful pups and grown-up dogs in the previous book, moms are shown as cats with their kittens in myriad colors, sizes, and breeds. Lovšin’s cats look as though they are smiling at each other in their fun, though several spreads are distractingly cut in half by the gutter. However delightful the presentation—the verse rolls fairly smoothly, and the cats are pretty cute—the overall effect is akin to a cream puff’s: very sweet and insubstantial.

A $16.99 Mother’s Day card for cat lovers. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62779-651-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Only gnashnabs would cavil at this eximious display of lexicographical largesse.

BIGGER WORDS FOR LITTLE GENIUSES

More labial lollipops for logomanes and sesquipedalian proto-savants.

The creators of Big Words for Little Geniuses (2017) and Cuddly Critters for Little Geniuses (2018) follow up with another ABC of extravagant expressions. It begins with “ailurophile” (“How furry sweet!” Puns, yet), ends with “zoanthropy,” and in between highlights “bioluminescent,” growls at a grouchy “gnashnab,” and collects a “knickknackatory” of like locutions. A list of 14 additional words is appended in a second, partial alphabet. Each entry comes with a phonetic version, a one- or two-sentence verbal definition, and, from Pan, a visual one with a big letter and very simple, broadly brushed figures. Lending an ear to aural pleasures, the authors borrow from German to include “fünfundfünfzig” in the main list and add a separate list of a dozen more words at the end likewise deemed sheer fun to say. Will any of these rare, generally polysyllabic leviathans find their way into idiolects or casual conversations? Unlikely, alas—but sounding them out and realizing that even the silliest have at least putative meanings sheds liminal light on language’s glittering word hoards.

Only gnashnabs would cavil at this eximious display of lexicographical largesse. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-316-53445-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more