Nonspecific, soothing, and likely to put rainbows in many a real window.


A homemade rainbow serves as a bright reminder that all rainstorms end.

“All of the world had to stay home today,” a White child gripes, then jumps at her mother’s suggestion that they make a rainbow to hang in the window. Each color offers its own challenges and associations, from RED, which reminds the young painter of the chairs in her classroom, to VIOLET, the name of her sharply missed best friend. Why not give her a video call? As it turns out, Violet, a child of color, is making a rainbow for her window too—a terrific chance to get out of the house: “We walk to see hers, / and she walks to see mine. / We wave to each other and really, it’s fine. / Not perfect—but neither’s my rainbow. So what? / I’m perfectly happy with all that I’ve got.” Using paint, crayon, and paper collage, Hamilton illustrates Robinson’s reassuring rhyme with simply drawn scenes that begin with a street scene in which several windows are filled with diverse residents longingly looking out and end with an equally diverse group of children (including one in a wheelchair) playing in a puddle beneath a big natural rainbow. The book alludes to the social isolation of the current pandemic without naming it or touching on the many tragedies it’s wrought, ending reassuringly: “we’ll still have each other when this rainstorm ends!” (Here’s hoping.) A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Save the Children. (This book was reviewed digitally with 9.6-by-21.6-inch double-page spreads viewed at 79% of actual size.)

Nonspecific, soothing, and likely to put rainbows in many a real window. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5476-0713-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2020

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Doubles down on a basic math concept with a bit of character development.


From the McKellar Math series

A child who insists on having MORE of everything gets MORE than she can handle.

Demanding young Moxie Jo is delighted to discover that pushing the button on a stick she finds in the yard doubles anything she points to. Unfortunately, when she points to her puppy, Max, the button gets stuck—and in no time one dog has become two, then four, then eight, then….Readers familiar with the “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” or Tomie dePaola’s Strega Nona will know how this is going to go, and Masse obliges by filling up succeeding scenes with burgeoning hordes of cute yellow puppies enthusiastically making a shambles of the house. McKellar puts an arithmetical spin on the crisis—“The number of pups exponentially grew: / They each multiplied times a factor of 2!” When clumsy little brother Clark inadvertently intervenes, Moxie Jo is left wiser about her real needs (mostly). An appended section uses lemons to show how exponential doubling quickly leads to really big numbers. Stuart J. Murphy’s Double the Ducks (illustrated by Valeria Petrone, 2002) in the MathStart series explores doubling from a broader perspective and includes more backmatter to encourage further study, but this outing adds some messaging: Moxie Jo’s change of perspective may give children with sharing issues food for thought. She and her family are White; her friends are racially diverse. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Doubles down on a basic math concept with a bit of character development. (Informational picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: July 26, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-101-93386-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: March 30, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2022

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The dynamic interaction between the characters invites readers to take risks, push boundaries, and have a little unscripted...


Reinvention is the name of the game for two blobs of clay.

A blue-eyed gray blob and a brown-eyed brown blob sit side by side, unsure as to what’s going to happen next. The gray anticipates an adventure, while the brown appears apprehensive. A pair of hands descends, and soon, amid a flurry of squishing and prodding and poking and sculpting, a handsome gray wolf and a stately brown owl emerge. The hands disappear, leaving the friends to their own devices. The owl is pleased, but the wolf convinces it that the best is yet to come. An ear pulled here and an extra eye placed there, and before you can shake a carving stick, a spurt of frenetic self-exploration—expressed as a tangled black scribble—reveals a succession of smug hybrid beasts. After all, the opportunity to become a “pig-e-phant” doesn’t come around every day. But the sound of approaching footsteps panics the pair of Picassos. How are they going to “fix [them]selves” on time? Soon a hippopotamus and peacock are staring bug-eyed at a returning pair of astonished hands. The creative naiveté of the “clay mates” is perfectly captured by Petty’s feisty, spot-on dialogue: “This was your idea…and it was a BAD one.” Eldridge’s endearing sculpted images are photographed against the stark white background of an artist’s work table to great effect.

The dynamic interaction between the characters invites readers to take risks, push boundaries, and have a little unscripted fun of their own . (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 20, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-316-30311-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

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