Delicious, nutritious absurdity.

READ REVIEW

THE BATTLE OF THE VEGETABLES

Three stories with vegetable protagonists make up this quirky French import.

In the first story, a patch of leeks dreams of adventure to the far reaches of the Earth—the North Pole, the South Pole, and the West Pole are all named as possible destinations. Then a cow passing by tricks the naïve leeks into believing it’s one of Santa’s reindeer (from the North Pole!) and entices them to file out of the garden through a gap in the fence. Ultimately, the cow is more like a wily folk-tale fox: a page-turn reveals the leeks marching right into its waiting, open mouth. In the next story, the carrots laugh at the leeks’ demise but then worry that the “reindeer” may return for them. They tunnel through the earth to escape, only to end up in a cavern full of bats, who then take them to a party at a rabbit warren. The twists and turns of the stories are humorously bizarre and culminate in the third story, featuring a battle among the carrots, leeks, and other vegetables, until they all end up in a big pot of soup. The translation offers children both rich vocabulary and Gallic humor: "Bats. Right. An anguished murmur passes among the carrots." Barrier’s ink drawings employ energetic, humorous line that recalls James Marshall in its ability to express broad emotion in just a few strokes.

Delicious, nutritious absurdity. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-35942-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Clarion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way.

NOAH CHASES THE WIND

A young boy sees things a little differently than others.

Noah can see patterns in the dust when it sparkles in the sunlight. And if he puts his nose to the ground, he can smell the “green tang of the ants in the grass.” His most favorite thing of all, however, is to read. Noah has endless curiosity about how and why things work. Books open the door to those answers. But there is one question the books do not explain. When the wind comes whistling by, where does it go? Noah decides to find out. In a chase that has a slight element of danger—wind, after all, is unpredictable—Noah runs down streets, across bridges, near a highway, until the wind lifts him off his feet. Cowman’s gusty wisps show each stream of air turning a different jewel tone, swirling all around. The ribbons gently bring Noah home, setting him down under the same thinking tree where he began. Did it really happen? Worthington’s sensitive exploration leaves readers with their own set of questions and perhaps gratitude for all types of perspective. An author’s note mentions children on the autism spectrum but widens to include all who feel a little different.

An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60554-356-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Redleaf Lane

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A validating and breathtaking next chapter of a Mother Goose favorite.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017

  • New York Times Bestseller

AFTER THE FALL (HOW HUMPTY DUMPTY GOT BACK UP AGAIN)

Humpty Dumpty, classically portrayed as an egg, recounts what happened after he fell off the wall in Santat’s latest.

An avid ornithophile, Humpty had loved being atop a high wall to be close to the birds, but after his fall and reassembly by the king’s men, high places—even his lofted bed—become intolerable. As he puts it, “There were some parts that couldn’t be healed with bandages and glue.” Although fear bars Humpty from many of his passions, it is the birds he misses the most, and he painstakingly builds (after several papercut-punctuated attempts) a beautiful paper plane to fly among them. But when the plane lands on the very wall Humpty has so doggedly been avoiding, he faces the choice of continuing to follow his fear or to break free of it, which he does, going from cracked egg to powerful flight in a sequence of stunning spreads. Santat applies his considerable talent for intertwining visual and textual, whimsy and gravity to his consideration of trauma and the oft-overlooked importance of self-determined recovery. While this newest addition to Santat’s successes will inevitably (and deservedly) be lauded, younger readers may not notice the de-emphasis of an equally important part of recovery: that it is not compulsory—it is OK not to be OK.

A validating and breathtaking next chapter of a Mother Goose favorite. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62672-682-6

Page Count: 45

Publisher: Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more