Sexist note aside, it’s a delight for children with obsessive tendencies…and even those with shorter attention spans may...

100 ANIMALS ON PARADE!

Make that over 500 animals—and practice aplenty both in counting and in spotting tiny details.

A bear band, armies of “Piggy Chefs” and carpenter beetles, a rabbit circus and a flight of birds march single file in succession along a winding path as other creatures look on. Each troupe or group is 100 strong, and each (except for the birds, which are relatively generic) is composed of small, smiling, brightly colored cartoon figures bearing different instruments, dishes, tools or other distinguishing items. Sebe slips in comical byplay to track and also adds lines of parade chatter and captions that invite viewers to keep count. They are challenged to look for “girl bears” (presumably the marchers with the long eyelashes), the bear carrying the piano, a piggy that loves carrots, a can of blue paint and dozens of like features. Not all 100 of each creature appear on any one spread; instead, they snake along over page turns. The challenge is mitigated by occasional place-holding markers and a declaration on the part of the last of each animal of its kind that it’s bringing up the rear. At the end, the author crams all of the marchers into a teeming spread with a handful of new objects to pick out.

Sexist note aside, it’s a delight for children with obsessive tendencies…and even those with shorter attention spans may find it hard to put down. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-55453-871-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: Jan. 16, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2013

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THIS BOOK IS GRAY

A gray character tries to write an all-gray book.

The six primary and secondary colors are building a rainbow, each contributing the hue of their own body, and Gray feels forlorn and left out because rainbows contain no gray. So Gray—who, like the other characters, has a solid, triangular body, a doodle-style face, and stick limbs—sets off alone to create “the GRAYest book ever.” His book inside a book shows a peaceful gray cliff house near a gray sea with gentle whitecaps; his three gray characters—hippo, wolf, kitten—wait for their arc to begin. But then the primaries arrive and call the gray scene “dismal, bleak, and gloomy.” The secondaries show up too, and soon everyone’s overrunning Gray’s creation. When Gray refuses to let White and Black participate, astute readers will note the flaw: White and black (the colors) had already been included in the early all-gray spreads. Ironically, Gray’s book within a book displays calm, passable art while the metabook’s unsubtle illustrations and sloppy design make for cramped and crowded pages that are too busy to hold visual focus. The speech-bubble dialogue’s snappy enough (Blue calls people “dude,” and there are puns). A convoluted moral muddles the core artistic question—whether a whole book can be gray—and instead highlights a trite message about working together.

Low grade. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5420-4340-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: July 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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Share this feel-good title with those who love art and those who can appreciate the confidence-building triumph of solving a...

SKY COLOR

Reynolds returns to a favorite topic—creative self-expression—with characteristic skill in a companion title to The Dot (2003) and Ish (2004).

Marisol is “an artist through and through. So when her teacher told her class they were going to paint a mural…, Marisol couldn’t wait to begin.” As each classmate claims a part of the picture to paint, Marisol declares she will “paint the sky.” But she soon discovers there is no blue paint and wonders what she will do without the vital color. Up to this point, the author uses color sparingly—to accent a poster or painting of Marisol’s or to highlight the paint jars on a desk. During her bus ride home, Marisol wonders what to do and stares out the window. The next spread reveals a vibrant departure from the gray tones of the previous pages. Reds, oranges, lemon yellows and golds streak across the sunset sky. Marisol notices the sky continuing to change in a rainbow of colors…except blue. After awakening from a colorful dream to a gray rainy day, Marisol smiles. With a fervent mixing of paints, she creates a beautiful swirling sky that she describes as “sky color.” Fans of Reynolds will enjoy the succinct language enhanced by illustrations in pen, ink, watercolor, gouache and tea.

Share this feel-good title with those who love art and those who can appreciate the confidence-building triumph of solving a problem on one’s own—creatively. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7636-2345-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: June 20, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2012

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