A playful guide to etiquette

MIND YOUR MANNERS

A bevy of animals demonstrates how good manners can help everyone get along.

Rhyming text leads readers through spreads depicting all sorts of creatures living in a not-so-peaceable kingdom until they adopt polite behaviors that make for greater conviviality. The animals are slightly anthropomorphized, and their cohabitation in a forest eschews any semblance of natural habitats, with red foxes, rhinos, pandas, parrots, and others all living together. The focus is not on depicting natural science but on using those animals as stand-ins for real human interactions. An early, representative spread reads, “Now no one likes mean, greedy grabbers. / I’m sure everybody agrees. / You won’t get far being a snatcher, / Polite pandas always say ‘please!’ ” The accompanying illustrations show two pandas in a tug of war over a stalk of bamboo at the top of the page, with a picture below showing one instead offering it like an olive branch to the other. Ensuing spreads encourage polite words such as “please,” “thank you,” “excuse me,” and “sorry,” as well as considerate behaviors that include respecting others’ personal space, avoiding crude language, never littering, and using good table manners. Throughout, there’s mild humor in depictions of misdeeds and comfort in resolutions showing the animals all interacting nicely with each other.

A playful guide to etiquette . (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-61067-811-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

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THE LAST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

Loewen’s story is a simple snapshot of kindergarten graduation day, and it stays true to form, with Yoshikawa’s artwork resembling photos that might be placed in an album—and the illustrations cheer, a mixed media of saturated color, remarkable depth and joyful expression. The author comfortably captures the hesitations of making the jump from kindergarten to first grade without making a fuss about it, and she makes the prospect something worth the effort. Trepidation aside, this is a reminder of how much fun kindergarten was: your own cubbyhole, the Halloween parade, losing a tooth, “the last time we’ll ever sit criss-cross applesauce together.” But there is also the fledgling’s pleasure at shucking off the past—swabbing the desks, tossing out the stubbiest crayons, taking the pictures off the wall—and surging into the future. Then there is graduation itself: donning the mortarboards, trooping into the auditorium—“Mr. Meyer starts playing a serious song on the piano. It makes me want to cry. It makes me want to march”—which will likely have a few adult readers feeling the same. (Picture book. 4-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7614-5807-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Review Posted Online: Jan. 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2011

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Nevertheless, children will enjoy the whimsical scenes, and adult mavens of children’s literature will appreciate and...

GOODNIGHT SONGS

ILLUSTRATED BY TWELVE AWARD-WINNING PICTURE BOOK ARTISTS

It’s a treasure trove: one dozen previously unpublished lyrical songs illustrated by the likes of Jonathan Bean, Carin Berger and Melissa Sweet.

In an introduction, estate editor Amy Gary explains how she found a trunk in Brown’s sister’s barn filled with unpublished manuscripts with Brown’s handwritten notes along with musical scores of her words. They were written in 1952, the last year of her life, when she was traveling in France for a book tour and under contract to create songs for a new children’s record company. Brown’s intent was to capture the spirit of a child’s world in her songs as she had done with her stories. As the opening to “The Secret Song” demonstrates, the simple rhymes have Brown’s trademark charm: “Who saw the petals / Drop from the rose? / ‘I,’ said the spider. / ‘But nobody knows.’ / Who saw the sunset / Flash on a bird? / ‘I,’ said the fish. / ‘But nobody heard.’ ” Each song is presented on one double-page spread, each illustrated by a different artist (uncredited until an ending recap), in a rather staid book design that does not rise to meet the buoyancy of the lyrics.

Nevertheless, children will enjoy the whimsical scenes, and adult mavens of children’s literature will appreciate and delight in the background of the discovery. (CD) (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4549-0446-5

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: Jan. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2014

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