TULIP AND LUPIN FOREVER

Tulip, the watering fairy, and her dog bee, Lupin, are best friends. They breakfast at the same table, tend the fields of flowers together and howl when the moon is full. Dog bees don’t live as long as watering fairies, however, and Lupin passes on. Tulip is so sad she heads out for parts unknown to explore. She meets a sea turtle and spends time on a beach, but quickly becomes homesick. On her return she finds a baby dog bee to care for, though she’ll never forget Lupin. This French Canadian tale of pet loss is workmanlike at best. The fey nature of the whole concept of “watering fairy” and “dog bee” seems out of place when they appear in the context of more conventional animals, and Tulip’s job seems unnecessary, given that her absence does not affect her flowers. Her emotions never feel as strong as readers are told they are, and the bright watercolor illustrations rarely pick up the somber mood of the tale. As evanescent as its subjects. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-88899-914-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Groundwood

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2009

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While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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RAIN SCHOOL

It takes a village to make a school. In Chad, big brothers and sisters lead the way for younger children on the first day of school. Little Thomas is full of questions. When he and the other children arrive, there are no classrooms and no desks. But the teacher's there, holding a trowel. "We will build our school," she declares. Everyone sets to work, making mud bricks that dry in the sun and a roof out of grass and saplings. Thomas loves his lessons; every day he learns something new. At the end of the school year, the minds of the students "are fat with knowledge." And just in time: The rainy season arrives and makes short work of the schoolhouse. Come September, they'll start all over. Rumford's illustrations make great use of color, dark brown skin and bright shirts, shorts and dresses against golden backgrounds, the hues applied in smudgy layers that infuse each scene with warmth—until the gray rains arrive. It's a nifty social-studies lesson tucked into a warm tale of community. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-547-24307-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 1, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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