Fun on many levels, this has a sure spot in classrooms and storytimes as fable, grammar lesson and wordplay all rolled into...

AUNT ANT LEAVES THROUGH THE LEAVES

A STORY WITH HOMOPHONES AND HOMONYMS

Coffelt masterfully weaves a lesson in words around a familiar "Little Red Hen" moral, making this one entertaining teaching tool.

Monkey needs help transporting his bananas home so he can make banana cream pie. But Ant is a new aunt anxious to see her niece, Bee has too much to do, with a honey shipment due, and Bear must wash the fir sap off his fur. Gnu, Ewe, Horse and Deer also find more pressing matters, and each leaves through the leaves without helping. Just when Monkey is about to do it all himself, Ant comes back to pitch in. They make the pies and share the tasty results. Predictably, the other animals want some pie, too, but Monkey only provides after they all help in the cleaning up. The five homonym pairs and 29 homophone combinations are bolded within the text, making them easy to spot. Coffelt keeps her textured oil pastel illustrations simple, so as not to detract from the wordplay, but what they may lack in detail they more than make up in rich, vibrant color and visual humor. Aunt Ant directs her little army from underneath a purple foreman's cap. Backmatter defines homophones and homonyms and addresses the regional pronunciations that can affect whether or not two words sound the same.

Fun on many levels, this has a sure spot in classrooms and storytimes as fable, grammar lesson and wordplay all rolled into one. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2353-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Between its autumn and field-trip themes and the fact that not many books start countdowns from 20, this may find its way to...

PUMPKIN COUNTDOWN

A class visits the pumpkin patch, giving readers a chance to count down from 20.

At the farm, Farmer Mixenmatch gives them the tour, which includes a petting zoo, an educational area, a corn maze and a tractor ride to the pumpkin patch. Holub’s text cleverly though not always successfully rhymes each child’s name within the line: “ ‘Eighteen kids get on our bus,’ says Russ. / ‘But someone’s late,’ says Kate. / ‘Wait for me!’ calls Kiri.” Pumpkins at the tops of pages contain the numerals that match the text, allowing readers to pair them with the orange-colored, spelled-out numbers. Some of the objects proffered to count are a bit of a stretch—“Guess sixteen things we’ll see,” count 14 cars that arrived at the farm before the bus—but Smith’s artwork keeps things easy to count, except for a challenging page that asks readers to search for 17 orange items (answers are at the bottom, upside down). Strangely, Holub includes one page with nothing to count—a sign marks “15 Pumpkin Street.” Charming, multicultural round-faced characters and lots of detail encourage readers to go back through the book scouring pages for the 16 things the kids guessed they might see. Endpapers featuring a smattering of pumpkin facts round out the text.

Between its autumn and field-trip themes and the fact that not many books start countdowns from 20, this may find its way to many library shelves. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: July 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8075-6660-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: May 16, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more