A humorous tale that encourages stepping out into the unknown, even if it’s scary (Picture book. 4-8)

LEMON CHILD

A stubborn lemon realizes the world beyond his tree is worth exploring.

High in the boughs of the mother lemon tree, the tiny lemon children joyfully bounce and giggle, talk and sing, looking forward to turning yellow. But not Tony, a “pretty miserable lemon” who prefers to stay in the shade, hoping to retain his lime-green complexion. The target of his siblings’ constant rhyming taunts, Tony continues to sour. Soon all the other lemons are bright yellow and ripe, and Tony is abandoned as they jump from the tree into the world. Stubborn and lonely, Tony is visited by several wild animals who help him gain the courage to take a leap of faith, but is it too late? Translated from the German, Brönner’s third-person narrative is lively and descriptive. The story’s message is conveyed with a light comedic tone that deftly avoids veering into the pedantic. Dialogue, presented in hand-lettered, underlined text placed near the speaker, provides much of the sophisticated humor. The painterly illustrations employ a vibrant color palette, reminiscent of Brian Wildsmith’s style. The lemons, including Tony, have personality to spare, with spindly limbs, tiny eyes, full sets of teeth, and extremely long noses. Although the ending feels slightly too quiet after the book’s dramatic buildup, late bloomers will relate to Tony’s feelings.

A humorous tale that encourages stepping out into the unknown, even if it’s scary (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7358-4418-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: NorthSouth

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Teachers will certainly find themselves wishing for their own arsenal of supplies to help them with their grading, and...

THE LITTLE RED PEN

Obviously inspired by "The Little Red Hen," this goes beyond the foundation tale's basic moral about work ethic to explore problem solving, teamwork and doing one’s best.

Nighttime at school brings the Little Red Pen out of the drawer to correct papers, usually aided by other common school supplies. But not this time. Too afraid of being broken, worn out, dull, lost or, worst of all, put in the “Pit of No Return” (aka trash), they hide in the drawer despite the Little Red Pen’s insistence that the world will end if the papers do not get corrected. But even with her drive she cannot do it all herself—her efforts send her to the Pit. It takes the ingenuity and cooperation of every desk supply to accomplish her rescue and to get all the papers graded, thereby saving the world. The authors work in lots of clever wordplay that will appeal to adult readers, as will the spicy character of Chincheta, the Mexican pushpin. Stevens’ delightfully expressive desk supplies were created with paint, ink and plenty of real school supplies. Without a doubt, she has captured their true personalities: the buck-toothed stapler, bespectacled scissors and rather empty-headed eraser.

Teachers will certainly find themselves wishing for their own arsenal of supplies to help them with their grading, and students may take a second glance at that innocuous-looking red pen on the teacher’s desk. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 18, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-15-206432-7

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: April 6, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A validating and breathtaking next chapter of a Mother Goose favorite.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017

  • New York Times Bestseller

AFTER THE FALL (HOW HUMPTY DUMPTY GOT BACK UP AGAIN)

Humpty Dumpty, classically portrayed as an egg, recounts what happened after he fell off the wall in Santat’s latest.

An avid ornithophile, Humpty had loved being atop a high wall to be close to the birds, but after his fall and reassembly by the king’s men, high places—even his lofted bed—become intolerable. As he puts it, “There were some parts that couldn’t be healed with bandages and glue.” Although fear bars Humpty from many of his passions, it is the birds he misses the most, and he painstakingly builds (after several papercut-punctuated attempts) a beautiful paper plane to fly among them. But when the plane lands on the very wall Humpty has so doggedly been avoiding, he faces the choice of continuing to follow his fear or to break free of it, which he does, going from cracked egg to powerful flight in a sequence of stunning spreads. Santat applies his considerable talent for intertwining visual and textual, whimsy and gravity to his consideration of trauma and the oft-overlooked importance of self-determined recovery. While this newest addition to Santat’s successes will inevitably (and deservedly) be lauded, younger readers may not notice the de-emphasis of an equally important part of recovery: that it is not compulsory—it is OK not to be OK.

A validating and breathtaking next chapter of a Mother Goose favorite. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62672-682-6

Page Count: 45

Publisher: Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

more