Cheerful and informative, this is a splendid introduction for humans of all shapes and sizes to share.

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THE GREAT BIG BODY BOOK

From the Great Big Book series , Vol. 4

What is a body?

In the pattern of their earlier books about families and feelings, this experienced team turns its attention to human bodies. As might be expected, their lively survey is notable for its inclusivity. Spread by spread, they introduce their young audience to the bodies of babies, toddlers, teens, pregnant women, and the elderly; to body parts; to fitness, health, and injuries; to senses; to families; to growth, aging, and death; and to a vast range of possibilities. Under the heading “Boy or Girl?” they remind readers that while gender is the first thing people want to know about new babies, “not everyone fits neatly into a ‘boy’ or ‘girl’ box.” Over and over, both text and pictures demonstrate that bodies are both similar and different, that they develop at differing rates, and that they don’t all work in quite the same way. Asquith’s appealing cartoons fill the pages with diverse examples: vignettes of children and adults in an astonishing variety of perfectly believable shapes, sizes, skin tones, moods, clothing (yes, some headscarves), activities, and degrees of mobility. The armless child drawing with a pencil in her mouth is especially memorable. The thought balloons of a cat that wanders through the pages contrast the human and feline worlds.

Cheerful and informative, this is a splendid introduction for humans of all shapes and sizes to share. (Informational picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-84780-872-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 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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A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together.

HEY, DUCK!

A clueless duckling tries to make a new friend.

He is confused by this peculiar-looking duck, who has a long tail, doesn’t waddle and likes to be alone. No matter how explicitly the creature denies he is a duck and announces that he is a cat, the duckling refuses to acknowledge the facts.  When this creature expresses complete lack of interest in playing puddle stomp, the little ducking goes off and plays on his own. But the cat is not without remorse for rejecting an offered friendship. Of course it all ends happily, with the two new friends enjoying each other’s company. Bramsen employs brief sentences and the simplest of rhymes to tell this slight tale. The two heroes are meticulously drawn with endearing, expressive faces and body language, and their feathers and fur appear textured and touchable. Even the detailed tree bark and grass seem three-dimensional. There are single- and double-page spreads, panels surrounded by white space and circular and oval frames, all in a variety of eye-pleasing juxtapositions. While the initial appeal is solidly visual, young readers will get the gentle message that friendship is not something to take for granted but is to be embraced with open arms—or paws and webbed feet.

A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-375-86990-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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