The youngest children will find plenty to pore over in the packed spreads, each filled with 100 easily discernible animals...

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LET'S COUNT TO 100!

While the 1000+ tiny images herein may seem overwhelming at first glance, Sebe’s latest is actually a great lesson in counting and in grouping by tens…all wrapped up in a seek-and-find format filled with amusing characters. 

The youngest children will find plenty to pore over in the packed spreads, each filled with 100 easily discernible animals (and, in one, children). Clever color, pattern or placement differences divide each large group into smaller groups of 10, making them easy to count, whether by ones or by tens. Sebe’s two-dimensional cartoon animals are very simply drawn with the barest of details, which makes the ones exhibiting personality stand out all the more. His busy scenes are full of whimsy and tiny details that are easily overlooked if children turn the pages too quickly. Indeed, rewards await those readers who are patient enough to look at each and every animal, as there are seek-and-finds on each page, as well as one in the back. The very observant may even notice the ways in which each spread connects to the one before it and the one that comes after. A final spread combines 10 animals from each of the previous spreads for one last set of 100.

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-55453-661-0

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: July 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2011

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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

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Shining with palpable pride for family and home.

ACROSS THE BAY

Carlitos’ yearning for his father takes him on a clandestine solo trip to Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, to find him. 

In the town of Cataño, across the titular bay from the capital, Carlitos lives with his mother, his abuela, and their cat, Coco. Carlitos’ “family didn’t look like the others.” The neighborhood children play basketball, learn to ride a bike, or do housework with their fathers while Carlitos goes to the barbershop with only his mother. When Carlitos asks about Papi’s whereabouts, his mother reassures him that his father is across the bay—that “sometimes things don’t work out.” Even though he is happy with his family, a desire for more sets Carlitos on a ferry with Papi’s photo in hand. Vibrant illustrations with an inviting tropical palette draw readers in as Carlitos searches high and low for Papi. A refreshingly varied spectrum of brown shades of skin abounds in colorful city scenes. Wide-angle perspectives effectively emphasize emotional scale: the vastness of San Juan Bay, Carlitos’ sense of his own smallness as he searches for his father in the “maze” of the old capital, and his despair at his journey’s end. Aponte’s decision to leave Carlitos’ quest unresolved is an honest one, and readers will respond to this beautiful depiction of a young boy’s physical and emotional journey within a deeply cultural setting.

Shining with palpable pride for family and home. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-8662-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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