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

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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This warm family story is a splendid showcase for the combined talents of Medina, a Pura Belpré award winner, and Dominguez,...

MANGO, ABUELA, AND ME

Abuela is coming to stay with Mia and her parents. But how will they communicate if Mia speaks little Spanish and Abuela, little English? Could it be that a parrot named Mango is the solution?

The measured, evocative text describes how Mia’s español is not good enough to tell Abuela the things a grandmother should know. And Abuela’s English is too poquito to tell Mia all the stories a granddaughter wants to hear. Mia sets out to teach her Abuela English. A red feather Abuela has brought with her to remind her of a wild parrot that roosted in her mango trees back home gives Mia an idea. She and her mother buy a parrot they name Mango. And as Abuela and Mia teach Mango, and each other, to speak both Spanish and English, their “mouths [fill] with things to say.” The accompanying illustrations are charmingly executed in ink, gouache, and marker, “with a sprinkling of digital magic.” They depict a cheery urban neighborhood and a comfortable, small apartment. Readers from multigenerational immigrant families will recognize the all-too-familiar language barrier. They will also cheer for the warm and loving relationship between Abuela and Mia, which is evident in both text and illustrations even as the characters struggle to understand each other. A Spanish-language edition, Mango, Abuela, y yo, gracefully translated by Teresa Mlawer, publishes simultaneously.

This warm family story is a splendid showcase for the combined talents of Medina, a Pura Belpré award winner, and Dominguez, an honoree. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6900-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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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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