Doesn’t it make Mood Monday sound like a good idea? (Picture book. 4-7)

READ REVIEW

THEO'S MOOD

A BOOK OF FEELINGS

“It was Mood Monday and Theo was the first to share his mood news. ‘Are you in a good mood or a bad mood?’ asked Miss Cady. ‘I don’t know,’ said Theo.” So begins the complicated task of naming Theo’s mood after he’s just met his new baby sister.

Miss Cady’s classroom begins to explore all types of feelings that Theo might be having about being a big brother. Each child takes a turn giving clear examples of many emotions. “Maybe you feel AFRAID like me,” says Ameen. “I got lost in the mall.” Both the text and the bright, expressive illustrations focus squarely on Theo and his friends, with a developmentally appropriate, low priority on the baby. When it is Theo’s turn to speak, he states that he is HAPPY. But he is also jealous and mad and even sad. Cocca-Leffler once again demonstrates her understanding of small children and the complexities of their emotions. Her illustrations depict a convincingly ethnically mixed classroom, with children holding vocabulary-word placards; torn-paper frames against chalkboard-black backgrounds depict their imagined scenarios. “How can you feel all those feelings at the same time?” ask Theo’s classmates. “Because,” he replies, “I FEEL LIKE A BIG BROTHER!” That truly honest conclusion will resonate with older siblings while portraying classmates and teachers as a source of comfort during this transitional time.

Doesn’t it make Mood Monday sound like a good idea? (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-8075-7778-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Aims high but falls flat.

WILD SYMPHONY

Through 20 short poems, Maestro Mouse invites readers to meet a series of animals who have lessons to impart and a symphony to perform.

Brown, author of The DaVinci Code (2003) and other wildly popular titles for adults, here offers young listeners a poetry collection accompanied by music: a “symphony” performed, for readers equipped with an audio device and an internet connection, by the Zagreb Festival Orchestra. From the introduction of the conductor and the opening “Woodbird Welcome” to the closing “Cricket Lullaby,” the writer/composer uses poems made of three to eight rhyming couplets, each line with four strong beats, to introduce the animals who will be revealed in the final double gatefold as the players in an all-animal orchestra. Each poem also contains a lesson, reinforced by a short message (often on a banner or signpost). Thus, “When life trips them up a bit, / Cats just make the best of it” concludes the poem “Clumsy Kittens,” which is encapsulated by “Falling down is part of life. The best thing to do is get back on your feet!” The individual songs and poems may appeal to the intended audience, but collectively they don’t have enough variety to be read aloud straight through. Nor does the gathering of the orchestra provide a narrative arc. Batori’s cartoon illustrations are whimsically engaging, however. They include puzzles: hard-to-find letters that are said to form anagrams of instrument names and a bee who turns up somewhere in every scene.

Aims high but falls flat. (Complete composition not available for review.) (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12384-3

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Rodale Kids

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Readers will agree: All differences should be hugged, er, embraced.

BIRD HUGS

Watch out, Hug Machine (Scott Campbell, 2014), there’s another long-limbed lover of squeezes in the mix.

Bernard, a tiny, lavender bird, dejectedly sits atop a high branch. His wings droop all the way to the ground. Heaving a sigh, his disappointment is palpable. With insufferably long wings, he has never been able to fly. All of his friends easily took to the skies, leaving him behind. There is nothing left to do but sit in his tree and feel sorry for himself. Adamson amusingly shows readers the passage of time with a sequence of vignettes of Bernard sitting in the rain, the dark, and amid a cloud of paper wasps—never moving from his branch. Then one day he hears a sob and finds a tearful orangutan. Without even thinking, Bernard wraps his long wings around the great ape. The orangutan is comforted! Bernard has finally found the best use of his wings. In gentle watercolor and pencil sketches, Adamson slips in many moments of humor. Animals come from all over to tell Bernard their troubles (a lion muses that it is “lonely at the top of the food chain” while a bat worries about missing out on fun during the day). Three vertical spreads that necessitate a 90-degree rotation add to the fun.

Readers will agree: All differences should be hugged, er, embraced. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5420-9271-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more