A beautifully illustrated ode for preschoolers.



This illustrated children’s board book celebrates everything wonderful about loblolly pine trees.

In a serene, outdoor setting, where fairies fly and small animals live, there’s a children’s playhouse and tall, loblolly pines. The latter “sway in the breeze,” individually and together, and the text compares their distinct appearance—tall, vertical trunks with branches and needles clustered at the top—to birthday candles, cotton candy, and bottle brushes. They stand together in neighborly groups (“The more the merrier”); their green needles turn brown after they fall off; and they provide shelter and support to birds, holly bushes, and small animals. Their pine cones also resemble pineapples, which the narrator calls “a sign of welcome.” Mommy Moo Moo (Vegetable Chatter, 2016) nicely conveys her appreciation for loblollies and their role in the natural world in understandable but not dumbed-down language; some words (“flexible,” “unison”) may need explanation. The gentle, simple prose in sentences such as “Are you trying to touch the clouds as they go by?” helps create a dreamy sense of wonder. The book has good read-aloud potential, with opportunities, for example, to mimic the trees’ rocking in the whooshing wind. Hill’s lovely, full-page illustrations are greatly appealing—realistic and three-dimensional rather than flat and cartoonlike. His soft colors, well-observed details, and varied perspectives are a real delight.

A beautifully illustrated ode for preschoolers.

Pub Date: Dec. 25, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9831584-0-0

Page Count: 19

Publisher: Damara Publishing

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2018

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A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

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A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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The greening of Dr. Seuss, in an ecology fable with an obvious message but a savingly silly style. In the desolate land of the Lifted Lorax, an aged creature called the Once-ler tells a young visitor how he arrived long ago in the then glorious country and began manufacturing anomalous objects called Thneeds from "the bright-colored tufts of the Truffula Trees." Despite protests from the Lorax, a native "who speaks for the trees," he continues to chop down Truffulas until he drives away the Brown Bar-ba-loots who had fed on the Tuffula fruit, the Swomee-Swans who can't sing a note for the smogulous smoke, and the Humming-Fish who had hummed in the pond now glumped up with Gluppity-Glupp. As for the Once-let, "1 went right on biggering, selling more Thneeds./ And I biggered my money, which everyone needs" — until the last Truffula falls. But one seed is left, and the Once-let hands it to his listener, with a message from the Lorax: "UNLESS someone like you/ cares a whole awful lot,/ nothing is going to get better./ It's not." The spontaneous madness of the old Dr. Seuss is absent here, but so is the boredom he often induced (in parents, anyway) with one ridiculous invention after another. And if the Once-let doesn't match the Grinch for sheer irresistible cussedness, he is stealing a lot more than Christmas and his story just might induce a generation of six-year-olds to care a whole lot.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 1971

ISBN: 0394823370

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1971

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