A gentle, well-meant introduction to climate change (a phrase the author doesn’t use) that's suitable for preschoolers, if...

SNOW CHILDREN

Two snow children, concerned about the effects of global warming, attend an international meeting where, after some dissension, all agree it is time to work together to do something about it.

On their journey, Yuta and Yuma encounter rabbits buried in a surprising avalanche, polar bears unable to hunt on the broken-up ice and caribou whose food is hidden in the deeper snow—all actual effects of recent climate changes. The tale becomes more fantastic as northern lights carry the pair off to their meeting, which begins with food: crispy and sweet snowballs. It is the beauty of new, falling snow that convinces the assembled snow people to cooperate. This simple, child-friendly story is framed by an opening spread (in a different typeface) defining global warming and the usual suggestions on the concluding endpapers for what children can do. Yamashita illustrates with pastel watercolors and Japanese paper collage, distinguishing the two snowball children by hat and muffler. The star-spangled Arctic sky and northern lights are particularly effective. Later, as people disagree, the sky becomes an angry red or green, and, curiously, pale red remains the color of the snowflakes even at the end.

A gentle, well-meant introduction to climate change (a phrase the author doesn’t use) that's suitable for preschoolers, if there seems to be need. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-55498-144-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Groundwood

Review Posted Online: June 27, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2012

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Instills a sense of well-being in youngsters while encouraging them to explore the natural world.

YOU ARE HOME WITH ME

This reassuring picture book exemplifies how parents throughout the animal kingdom make homes for their offspring.

The narrative is written from the point of view of a parent talking to their child: “If you were a beaver, I would gnaw on trees with my teeth to build a cozy lodge for us to sleep in during the day.” Text appears in big, easy-to-read type, with the name of the creature in boldface. Additional facts about the animal appear in a smaller font, such as: “Beavers have transparent eyelids to help them see under water.” The gathering of land, air, and water animals includes a raven, a flying squirrel, and a sea lion. “Home” might be a nest, a den, or a burrow. One example, of a blue whale who has homes in the north and south (ocean is implied), will help children stretch the concept into feeling at home in the larger world. Illustrations of the habitats have an inviting luminosity. Mature and baby animals are realistically depicted, although facial features appear to have been somewhat softened, perhaps to appeal to young readers. The book ends with the comforting scene of a human parent and child silhouetted in the welcoming lights of the house they approach: “Wherever you may be, you will always have a home with me.”

Instills a sense of well-being in youngsters while encouraging them to explore the natural world. (Informational picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-63217-224-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little Bigfoot/Sasquatch

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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For patient listeners, a fun visit to a mixed-up barnyard.

THE WIND PLAYS TRICKS

When a fierce wind descends on the barnyard, the animals hear some odd noises…and they’re coming from their own mouths.

The sudden wind unsettles all the animals on the farm just when they should be getting ready for sleep. Instead, they anxiously “cheep” and “cluck” and “oink” and “quack” and “moooo.” They shift nervously, pull together, and make all sorts of noises. All except Turtle, who tucks into his shell under an old log and sleeps. In the morning, though, the animals get a surprise. Pig says, “Cluck”; the Little Chicks say, “Neigh”; Horse crows, “Cock-a-doodle-doo.” How will they get their proper sounds back? Turtle has an idea, and he enjoys the process so much that he decides to open his mouth the next time the wind plays tricks at the farm: Perhaps he’ll catch a sound all his own. Chua’s cartoon barnyard is bright, and her animals, expressive, their faces and body language slightly anthropomorphized. The edges of the figures sometimes betray their digital origins. Though the tale is humorous and will give lots of opportunity for practicing animal sounds, the audience is hard to pin down, as the young children sure to enjoy mooing and clucking may not have the patience to sit through the somewhat lengthy text.

For patient listeners, a fun visit to a mixed-up barnyard. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8075-8735-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

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