A gentle exploration, using a child’s words and told at a child’s pace, of a marvelous world

READ REVIEW

TREASURE

From tiny discoveries to one big treasure, the natural world delights at every turn.

In simple yet engaging dialogue, two children set out on a treasure hunt, through a meadow and a wood, in search of something “shiny and mysterious and precious…and always hidden.” The younger one finds a feather (“not shiny enough”), an acorn (“not mysterious enough”), and a milkweed pod (“not precious enough”); all while they play in the grass and trees around them. Ready to give up, the younger child is sure they’ll never find the too-well-hidden treasure, but the tenacious older one takes a few steps more. At last, they discover something truly shiny, mysterious, precious, and hidden, which won’t fit in pockets but instead will live on in the memories of these young explorers. Softly muted, colorful illustrations feature treasures big and small to discover on each detailed spread. Perspective changes throughout, with close-ups, faraway landscape spreads, and a lovely look down at one child’s feet immersed in water as the two children hold hands. The children are depicted nearly constantly in motion, with the older child’s long, black hair often flowing sideways in the wind. (Both have pale skin and straight, black hair.) The companion French title offers a superb translation (also by Messier), with its own lively phrases—perfect for building language skills in young readers.

A gentle exploration, using a child’s words and told at a child’s pace, of a marvelous world . (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4598-1734-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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Fun but earnest, this rhyming romp reminds readers that one young person can make a difference.

SOFIA VALDEZ, FUTURE PREZ

From the Questioneers series

Sofia Valdez proves that community organizers of any age can have a positive impact.

After a trash-heap eyesore causes an injury to her beloved abuelo, Sofia springs into action to bring big change to her neighborhood. The simple rhymes of the text follow Sofia on her journey from problem through ideas to action as she garners community support for an idyllic new park to replace the dangerous junk pile. When bureaucracy threatens to quash Sofia’s nascent plan, she digs deep and reflects that “being brave means doing the thing you must do, / though your heart cracks with fear. / Though you’re just in Grade Two.” Sofia’s courage yields big results and inspires those around her to lend a hand. Implied Latinx, Sofia and her abuelo have medium brown skin, and Sofia has straight brown hair (Abuelo is bald). Readers will recognize Iggy Peck, Rosie Revere, and Ada Twist from Beaty’s previous installments in the Questioneers series making cameo appearances in several scenes. While the story connects back to the title and her aptitude for the presidency in only the second-to-last sentence of the book, Sofia’s leadership and grit are themes throughout. Roberts’ signature illustration style lends a sense of whimsy; detailed drawings will have readers scouring each page for interesting minutiae.

Fun but earnest, this rhyming romp reminds readers that one young person can make a difference. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3704-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

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Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles.

THE DINKY DONKEY

Even more alliterative hanky-panky from the creators of The Wonky Donkey (2010).

Operating on the principle (valid, here) that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, Smith and Cowley give their wildly popular Wonky Donkey a daughter—who, being “cute and small,” was a “dinky donkey”; having “beautiful long eyelashes” she was in consequence a “blinky dinky donkey”; and so on…and on…and on until the cumulative chorus sails past silly and ludicrous to irresistibly hysterical: “She was a stinky funky plinky-plonky winky-tinky,” etc. The repeating “Hee Haw!” chorus hardly suggests what any audience’s escalating response will be. In the illustrations the daughter sports her parent’s big, shiny eyes and winsome grin while posing in a multicolored mohawk next to a rustic boombox (“She was a punky blinky”), painting her hooves pink, crossing her rear legs to signal a need to pee (“winky-tinky inky-pinky”), demonstrating her smelliness with the help of a histrionic hummingbird, and finally cozying up to her proud, evidently single parent (there’s no sign of another) for a closing cuddle.

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-60083-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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