MOUSE TELLS TIME

Time is a difficult concept for children, one that doesn’t get any easier with the reading of this tale. Young Mouse cannot wait to learn how to tell time. As he encounters different forest animals, he asks them, “How do you tell the time?” Hedgehog judges light and dark to determine if it’s day or night. This answer doesn’t satisfy Mouse. Squirrel looks at the lengths of the shadows, and which way they are pointing. Mouse doesn’t know east from west, and gives up this method when the sun goes behind a cloud. The Rabbit twins blow dandelions and end up telling Mouse it is two different times of day. And Grandma Mole has an hourglass that tells her when it is one hour later than it was before. Still confused and now hungry, Mouse returns home, where Mother tells him that time is not as hard as he thinks. If he is hungry it must be suppertime, sleepy, it must be bedtime. But she does promise to teach him to use a clock the following day. A foldout page at the end pictures Mouse and a clock as he goes through his daily routine. The watercolor illustrations are marvelous, capturing the greens and browns of nature, and portraying the forest animals realistically. Unfortunately, the story is not one for aspiring clock watchers. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 1, 2003

ISBN: 1-84365-000-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Pavilion/Trafalgar

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2003

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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

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Part of a spate of books intent on bringing the garbage collectors in children’s lives a little closer, this almost matches...

TRASHY TOWN

Listeners will quickly take up the percussive chorus—“Dump it in, smash it down, drive around the Trashy town! Is the trash truck full yet? NO”—as they follow burly Mr. Gilly, the garbage collector, on his rounds from park to pizza parlor and beyond.

Flinging cans and baskets around with ease, Mr. Gilly dances happily through streetscapes depicted with loud colors and large, blocky shapes; after a climactic visit to the dump, he roars home for a sudsy bath.

Part of a spate of books intent on bringing the garbage collectors in children’s lives a little closer, this almost matches Eve Merriam’s Bam Bam Bam (1995), also illustrated by Yaccarino, for sheer verbal and visual volume. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: April 30, 1999

ISBN: 0-06-027139-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1999

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