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OVER IN THE WOODLAND

A MYTHOLOGICAL COUNTING JOURNEY

An enchanting one-on-one introduction for mythology fans and fans-to-be.

Snuggle up to savor the familiar and the fantastical.

As day dawns, a mother griffin sends out her pride to protect the Woodland. “ ‘Guard,’ said the mother. / ‘We will guard every home.’ / So her young griffins flew / where the mythic creatures roam.” Each verse introduces a new mythological creature family such that, in the familiar “Over in the Meadow” format, young readers rhyme and count their way through the day. One young phoenix rises with its father: “So they rose from the ashes / in the glimmer of the sun”; a few pages later, readers learn that “in a lush, leafy heaven, / Lived a spry mother fairy and her little fairies seven.” At the end of the day, the mother griffin calls her brood home. “ ‘Safe?’ asked the mother. ‘All safe,’ said the ten. / So they settled for the night in the quiet of their den.” Midday scenes are brighter than those at either end of the day, but most of the illustrations in this mythological woodland are mistily ethereal. Young listeners can count the offspring in each new family and search for the young griffin that hides in plain sight on each spread. A glossary includes a paragraph about each of the 10 mythological creatures. A map of the Woodland is presented on the endpapers.

An enchanting one-on-one introduction for mythology fans and fans-to-be. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-64170-241-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Familius

Review Posted Online: May 2, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

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ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

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 3, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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  • Kirkus Reviews'
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  • Caldecott Honor

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KNIGHT OWL

A charming blend of whimsy and medieval heroism highlighting the triumph of brains over brawn.

Awards & Accolades

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  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2022


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller


  • Caldecott Honor

A young owl achieves his grand ambition.

Owl, an adorably earnest and gallant little owlet, dreams of being a knight. He imagines himself defeating dragons and winning favor far and wide through his brave exploits. When a record number of knights go missing, Owl applies to Knight School and is surprisingly accepted. He is much smaller than the other knights-in-training, struggles to wield weapons, and has “a habit of nodding off during the day.” Nevertheless, he graduates and is assigned to the Knight Night Watch. While patrolling the castle walls one night, a hungry dragon shows up and Owl must use his wits to avoid meeting a terrible end. The result is both humorous and heartwarming, offering an affirmation of courage and clear thinking no matter one’s size…and demonstrating the power of a midnight snack. The story never directly addresses the question of the missing knights, but it is hinted that they became the dragon’s fodder, leaving readers to question Owl’s decision to befriend the beast. Humor is supplied by the characters’ facial expressions and accented by the fact that Owl is the only animal in his order of big, burly human knights. Denise’s accomplished digital illustrations—many of which are full bleeds—often use a warm sepia palette that evokes a feeling of antiquity, and some spreads feature a pleasing play of chiaroscuro that creates suspense and drama.

A charming blend of whimsy and medieval heroism highlighting the triumph of brains over brawn. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 15, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-316-31062-8

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Christy Ottaviano Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2022

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