This poetic celebration of the impermanence and unpredictability of seasons is a delight for pluviophiles and heliophiles...

SOMETIMES RAIN

Lyrical text invites friends to look closer and explore together as the seasons turn.

Outdoor play in a four-season climate requires flexibility and creativity due to changeable weather, and the children in this book are experts! A white boy and girl join a black boy and girl (gender cued via hairstyle and clothing) to go sledding in the snow, spy on animals emerging from deep wintry sleep, dig in thawing mud, watch clouds atop a flowery hill, soak in beachy sun, and leap into leaf piles. The children take turns being featured up close in painterly, gouache illustrations done in gently muted colors. Frosty breaths, breezes, and cottony clouds sometimes transform into recurring swirled motifs that contain birds, a unicorn, or a frosty deer. Endpapers further showcase the wind motif at the beginning amid raindrops and at the end amid snowflakes, underscoring the book’s temporal journey that begins on the front cover. Precise, descriptive couplets dance between descriptions of the fragility and unpredictability of nature and the dependability and strength of a deep friendship that is both interracial and ordinary. Young readers will find lots of ideas for how to explore their world throughout the year. Each spread also contains many natural elements that can be highlighted in STEM storytimes.

This poetic celebration of the impermanence and unpredictability of seasons is a delight for pluviophiles and heliophiles alike . (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 30, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4814-5918-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.

MAMA BUILT A LITTLE NEST

Echoing the meter of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” Ward uses catchy original rhymes to describe the variety of nests birds create.

Each sweet stanza is complemented by a factual, engaging description of the nesting habits of each bird. Some of the notes are intriguing, such as the fact that the hummingbird uses flexible spider web to construct its cup-shaped nest so the nest will stretch as the chicks grow. An especially endearing nesting behavior is that of the emperor penguin, who, with unbelievable patience, incubates the egg between his tummy and his feet for up to 60 days. The author clearly feels a mission to impart her extensive knowledge of birds and bird behavior to the very young, and she’s found an appealing and attractive way to accomplish this. The simple rhymes on the left page of each spread, written from the young bird’s perspective, will appeal to younger children, and the notes on the right-hand page of each spread provide more complex factual information that will help parents answer further questions and satisfy the curiosity of older children. Jenkins’ accomplished collage illustrations of common bird species—woodpecker, hummingbird, cowbird, emperor penguin, eagle, owl, wren—as well as exotics, such as flamingoes and hornbills, are characteristically naturalistic and accurate in detail.

A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.   (author’s note, further resources) (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2116-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2014

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An adorable adventure in cartography.

CAMILLA, CARTOGRAPHER

An exercise of spatial thinking through a snowy forest.

Camilla the warthog collects maps. Maps of stars, New York, even the London Tube. She even owns an ancient map of her forest. Unfortunately for her, she believes all lands have been explored and there is nothing new to chart. However, with a snowy morning comes a new opportunity. When her hedgehog neighbor, Parsley, asks for her help in finding the creek, Camilla quivers with excitement when she realizes the snow-covered land “is uncharted territory.” With all landmarks covered in snow, Camilla and Parsley must use their spatial-reasoning skills and a compass to find a new way to the creek. Their trailblazing journey proves a challenge as they keep bumping into trees, rocks, and walls. But when they find the creek, Camilla will have all the information and tools ready to draw out a new map, to break out in case of another snowfall. Wood’s delightful illustrations and Dillemuth’s expertise in the matter engage readers in the woodland creatures’ adventures. In addition, Dillemuth, who holds a doctorate in geography, provides activities in the backmatter for parents and caregivers to help children develop their own spatial-reasoning skills, such as sketching and reading maps or using cardinal directions.

An adorable adventure in cartography. (author’s note) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4338-3033-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Magination/American Psychological Association

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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