HOW DO YOU RAISE A RAISIN?

Offering quite a tasty ode to the perfect snack, Ryan raises queries in a little rhymed ditty and then answers in prose. Readers learn, for instance, that 90 percent of raisins sold in the US come from around Fresno, California, and that 95 percent of that crop is the Thompson Seedless grape, named for the man who introduced the Lady de Coverly green seedless grape to California. Facts include how raisins are grown, cut, dried, and processed, some history (the ancient Phoenicians produced muscat raisins from muscat grapes; tiny seedless grapes grown near Corinth, Greece, called raisin de Corauntz, became currants), and even a recipe or three. Brown’s marker-and-pastel pictures are boldly drawn with the same whimsical approach as the verse—drying raisins lie on beach blankets in the sun, and tiny fairy princesses stuff raisin boxes full. One can have one’s chocolate or popcorn; youngsters devoted to those cute little boxes of sweet dried treats will revel in learning all about them. (Picture book/nonfiction. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 1, 2003

ISBN: 1-57091-397-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2003

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Good fun for all little ninjas and their parents.

NAUGHTY NINJA TAKES A BATH

After swinging out from the jungle after a long day of ninja-ing, Will makes his way home just in time for a bath. But as all ninjas know, danger lurks around every corner.

Even naughty ninjas get hungry, but Dad says, “Pee-yew,” and insists his little ninja get clean before going near a morsel. Ever the Naughty Ninja, Will follows his dad into the bathroom and immediately spies danger: Poisonous flies that have followed him from the jungle! As any parent would, his dad begs him not to say, “Ninja to the rescue,” because we all know what comes after a catchphrase…chaos! Through each increasingly rough rescue, Dad finds himself more and more defeated in his quest to complete bathtime, but ultimately he starts to find the infectious joy that only the ridiculousness of children can bring out in an adult. The art is bright and finds some nifty ninja perspectives that use the space well. It also places an interracial family at its center: Dad has brown skin and dark, puffy hair, and Mom is a white redhead; when out of his ninja cowl, Will looks like a slightly lighter-skinned version of his father. Kids will laugh at everything the dad is put through, and parents will knowingly nod, because we have all had nights with little ninjas soaking the bathroom floor. The book starts out a little text heavy but finds its groove quickly, reading smoothly going forward. Lots of action means it’s best not to save this one for bedtime.

Good fun for all little ninjas and their parents. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5420-9433-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2019

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FROM HEAD TO TOE

Carle (Little Cloud, 1996, etc.) takes as his premise that animals don't have to go to the gym—their natural movements give them plenty of exercise. "I am a giraffe and I bend my neck. Can you do it?" asks the animal of the child. "I can do it!" is the invariable reply. If readers participate in the gestures shown on every page, they'll get something of a work-out, for the analogies are good: foot-stomping elephants, clapping seals, and shoulder-hunching buffalo are enticingly imitatable. The book's large size and bold, brightly colored animals make it ideal for story hours. Unusual for Carle—and highlighted by the emphasis on action—is the stiffness of the collages: Neither children nor animals convey a sense of motion, but appear locked into place. Linda Lowery's Twist With a Burger, Jitter With a Bug (1995) inspires similar participation, but is a more rhythmic and vivacious book. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 11, 1997

ISBN: 0-06-023515-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1997

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