All will agree with Red Knit Cap Girl: “It is good to share books.” (Picture book. 3-6)

RED KNIT CAP GIRL AND THE READING TREE

From the Red Knit Cap Girl series

A little girl and her forest friends build the perfect, albeit old-fashioned, library.

In two previous titles, Red Knit Cap Girl talked to the moon and rescued a lost animal. Here, readers see her as a book lover who establishes a library in a “nook,” a hollow in a great tree. With contributions from White Bunny, Squirrel, Hedgehog, Bear and the Birds, its collection of books grows. Beaver has no books, but he builds a shelf. Only Sly Fox lacks the requisite community spirit (he steals a book). The Sheep bring blankets for winter snuggling, while Moon and Owl provide a finishing touch by creating a sign that says “Library.” Once again, Stoop’s acrylic, pencil and ink artwork on plywood provides appealing textures and delicately nuanced colors for daytime, nighttime and the passing seasons. Children will delight in pointing out the many little humorous touches, while parents and librarians will take a quiet and glorious pleasure in sharing a story about books and reading. There is nary a beep to be heard or a flashing light to be seen in this loving ode to the printed page, reading and sharing stories.

All will agree with Red Knit Cap Girl: “It is good to share books.” (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 23, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-316-22886-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Megan Tingley/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2014

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A universal theme, developed in an unusually clean, simple presentation…and, at least, with no need for batteries.

TAP THE MAGIC TREE

Matheson invites readers to take an apple tree through a seasonal round using taps and page turns in place of touch-screens.

“There’s magic in this bare brown tree. / Tap it once. / Turn the page to see.” Making the resemblance to a tablet app even more apparent, the tissue-collage leaves, flowers and fruits that grow, mature and fall in succession on the scaffolding of branches “appear” following cued shakes, pats, blown breaths, claps and gestures as well as simple taps. The tree, suspended in white space on each spread, is all there is to see (until a pair of nesting bluebirds fly in at the end)—so that even very young children will easily follow its changes through spring, summer and winter dormancy to a fresh spring. Like the print version of Hervé Tullet’s Press Here (2011), from which this plainly takes its inspiration, the illusion of interactivity exercises a reader’s imagination in ways that digital media do not. Still, the overall result is more an imitation of an app than a creative use of ink, paper and physical design.

A universal theme, developed in an unusually clean, simple presentation…and, at least, with no need for batteries. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-227445-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: May 29, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2013

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A sweet, poetic ode to autumn.

IF YOU FIND A LEAF

A rhyming celebration of imagination.

A child with brown skin offers gentle, artful ideas about what to do with autumn leaves. The picture book's idyllic setting seems Northeastern in nature, with deciduous trees shedding leaves, which the child scoops up. Could a leaf from a tree become a hat, a Halloween mask, a hammock, or something else entirely? "It could be a horn that blows, announcing that we're here. // A leafy parade to celebrate our favorite time of year." Rhyme rules the text but isn't forced in the least. Collaged leaves against painted illustrations encourage play and imagination. A nod to winter and spring make this a year-round read. Endpapers with realistic labeled images of leaves provide an injection of information in this otherwise dreamy musing. The backmatter includes instructions on collaging—a meaningful and fun activity that builds upon the text. While there's nothing groundbreaking here, there is opportunity for both learning and whimsy. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A sweet, poetic ode to autumn. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: July 12, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-30659-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House Studio

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2022

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