CARMINE

A LITTLE MORE RED

The illustrator tries her hand at words and images in this delightful alphabet and fairytale twist. Carmine loves to make pictures, and she loves all the versions of the color red, like her name. When Granny calls and mentions she’s made alphabet soup (“beware of dangers”), Carmine takes her dog Rufus, her bike, her paints and paper and goes off to Gran’s, after promising not to “dilly-dally.” However, she cannot resist the call of some poppies, so the local “lurking” wolf does indeed get to Gran’s house first. When Carmine and Rufus get there—with her painting of poppies—things are quite the mess. But it’s only the soup bones the wolf was after, so Granny's released from the closet, she and Carmine finish the alphabet soup and Carmine goes home safely. Besides her vivacious paint and collage pictures, Sweet plays with her love of words by highlighting in alphabetical order, above and within the text, some unusual choices for an alphabet: “exquisite,” “nincompoop,” “zillion.” Includes Granny’s recipe for alphabet soup. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 4, 2005

ISBN: 0-618-38794-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2005

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THE BEST CHEF IN SECOND GRADE

An impending school visit by a celebrity chef sends budding cook Ollie into a tailspin. He and his classmates are supposed to bring a favorite family food for show and tell, but his family doesn’t have a clear choice—besides, his little sister Rosy doesn’t like much of anything. What to do? As in their previous two visits to Room 75, Kenah builds suspense while keeping the tone light, and Carter adds both bright notes of color and familiar home and school settings in her cartoon illustrations. Eventually, Ollie winkles favorite ingredients out of his clan, which he combines into a mac-and-cheese casserole with a face on top that draws delighted praise from the class’s renowned guest. As Ollie seems to do his kitchen work without parental assistance, a cautionary tip or two (and maybe a recipe) might not have gone amiss here, but the episode’s mouthwatering climax and resolution will guarantee smiles of contentment all around. (Easy reader. 6-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-06-053561-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2007

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THIS SCHOOL YEAR WILL BE THE BEST!

On the first day of school, this primary-grade teacher encourages her students to share their hopes for the coming year. In one- or two-page spreads, the wishes unfold: for the best seat on the bus, a chocolate fountain at lunch, to kick the ball into the right goal, not to be a vegetable in the school play. The quotidian-but-nevertheless-marvelous (“at least one snow day”) mixes with the slightly ridiculous (“We’ll have Skateboard Day”) to provide a kid-level survey of anticipated fun. Andriani’s line-and-watercolor cartoons likewise mix the fanciful (one little boy brings his giant purple boa constrictor for show-and-tell) and the realistic (two girls jump double Dutch as one of them imagines making friends in her new school). A catalog more than a story, this agreeable book could act as a fruitful springboard for class brainstorming. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: July 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-525-42275-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2010

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