Those nervous about attending school for the first time will not find much comfort here, though teachers might like the...

YOU ARE MY WONDERS

From the You Are My… series , Vol. 4

More like Love’s second book (You Are My Miracle, 2005) than her first (You Are My I Love You, 2001) in the You Are My… series, this fourth, school-themed one falls flat, especially since most of its intended audience does not yet attend school.

“I am your teacher; / you are my school child. // I am your welcome; / you are my running wild.” And so a new group of students gets to know their teacher, a kindly gray elephant who ushers them through their first day of school. Ichikawa’s weather nicely echoes the feelings that accompany those new to school—the rainy day giving way to lovely sunshine that allows the class to get outside. Her stuffed-animal students are a bit of a tougher read, as their facial expressions and body positions are stiffer than the usual anthropomorphized-animal picture-book fare. From music, show-and-tell and crafts to storytime, lining up and getting ready to go home, all the standard markers of school are here…except for metaphors that are meaningful to children. While many kids will not have trouble understanding that they are the “double-quick” to their teacher’s “go slow,” few will glean meaning from being a “Popsicle stick” to her “glue.” And while each of the rhyming verses flows on its own, together, the inconsistent rhythms and sometimes-forced rhymes make for an uneven read-aloud.

Those nervous about attending school for the first time will not find much comfort here, though teachers might like the sentiment. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0399-25293-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: May 9, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

THE GRUFFALO

The action of this rhymed and humorous tale centers upon a mouse who "took a stroll/through the deep dark wood./A fox saw the mouse/and the mouse looked good." The mouse escapes being eaten by telling the fox that he is on his way to meet his friend the gruffalo (a monster of his imagination), whose favorite food is roasted fox. The fox beats a hasty retreat. Similar escapes are in store for an owl and a snake; both hightail it when they learn the particulars: tusks, claws, terrible jaws, eyes orange, tongue black, purple prickles on its back. When the gruffalo suddenly materializes out of the mouse's head and into the forest, the mouse has to think quick, declaring himself inedible as the "scariest creature in the deep dark wood," and inviting the gruffalo to follow him to witness the effect he has on the other creatures. When the gruffalo hears that the mouse's favorite food is gruffalo crumble, he runs away. It's a fairly innocuous tale, with twists that aren't sharp enough and treachery that has no punch. Scheffler's funny scenes prevent the suspense from culminating; all his creatures, predator and prey, are downright lovable. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8037-2386-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1999

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Perhaps youngsters who think they are more interested in football than reading will take the message to heart.

THE MAGICIAN'S HAT

New England Patriot and literacy advocate Mitchell proves to have a touch of magic as an author as well as on the field.

It’s Family Fun Day at the library, and families of many sizes, constellations, and skin tones are participating. Amid book scavenger hunts and storytelling, a magician arrives. He is white and lanky, sporting a purple polka-dot vest and a bright yellow ascot. But most importantly, he has a very large, mysterious hat. He tells the children how he came to Family Fun Day when he was younger and read his very first book about magic in the library. Turning the pages and getting lost in the words inspired him to become a magician. He realized that it wasn’t just about spells and potions, but that books themselves are magical. Three children reach into the hat and find books about their future professions—Amy, a white girl, is a dentist; Matt, a bespectacled black boy, is a football player; and Ryan, a white boy, is an astronaut. The magician then turns the hat to readers, asking, “What are your dreams?” Previously self-published, the work gets a new look from Lew-Vriethoff’s bustling library and bright swirls of magic and bookish motivation. As an entry in the books-are-awesome genre, it’s mostly distinguished by the author’s clear belief in his message.

Perhaps youngsters who think they are more interested in football than reading will take the message to heart. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-338-11454-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 13, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more