Books about the seasons abound. This one’s mentions of specific holidays may limit its audience.

READ REVIEW

FOUR SEASONS OF FUN

EGG HUNTS! FIREWORKS! PUMPKINS! REINDEER!

A rhyming look at all the fun to be had during a year of seasonal changes.

An apple tree anchors the book, its branches visually portraying each of the seasons: “Glittering sunbeams make a golden crown / for a tree that is wearing a blossom gown.” Daigneault’s illustration here shows the tree heavily laden with pinkish blossoms, the top of the tree tinged yellow from the rays of the sun. Opposite the tree, a groundhog emerges. This sets up a pattern, as Edwards introduces an animal and how it experiences the season (in summer, birds feed their chicks in the nest, for example) before two double-page spreads show how children enjoy it. In autumn: “Racing the field, taking aim, / Helping your team to win the game.” A Hallmark holiday is included in each season: Easter (hunting eggs and bunny treats), the Fourth of July, Halloween, and Christmas (leaving out cookies for Santa). This book is best shared with an adult, as text on the introductory spreads is in cursive, and children may need help with some of the heightened language and imagery on these pages, gorgeous though they are. The illustrations are realistic and portray both beautiful nature scenes and children enjoying the suburban outdoors (only three activities take place indoors). The kids have varied skin tones and hair textures, though they do not appear to be economically diverse.

Books about the seasons abound. This one’s mentions of specific holidays may limit its audience. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-58536-403-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

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A feast…at least for the eyes, and much better for the teeth.

BAKE A RAINBOW CAKE!

It’s all about the colors in this board-book version of the virally popular “rainbow explosion” cake.

The cake, which stars in many online videos and slide shows, is actually all about the sprinkles, evoked here with a combination of multihued spinners or sliders and hundreds of tiny holes punched into the sturdy cover and stock. Kassem, a New York City specialist baker, recaps its creation…without specific ingredients but step by step in the simplest language: “Pour it! / Mix it! // Color it!” The images are abstract enough that the result never really looks like food, but young digerati are unlikely to care as they’re directed to choose colors for each of the six layers, pull a tab to watch them rise in the oven, then see all but the top layer hollowed out before being stacked in rainbow order (sans indigo) and finally filled with a column of sprinkles that will pour out in a climactic rush (“Surprise!”) when the finished cake, its outside likewise sprinkle encrusted, is sliced. Chavarri’s simple illustrations flash with oversaturated hues, each succeeding double-page spread being somehow brighter than the last one, until the final uncomplicated pop-up unfolds in a grand shower of confetti and sprinkles. Budding chefs may find the recipe-based approach in Lotta Niemenen’s Cook in a Book series more to their taste, but for sheer energy and dazzle, this is hard to beat.

A feast…at least for the eyes, and much better for the teeth. (Board book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 25, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3746-6

Page Count: 10

Publisher: abramsappleseed

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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Children of all ages will be charmed by this collection that demonstrates that poet-translators often make the best...

A LITTLE BITTY MAN

AND OTHER POEMS FOR THE VERY YOUNG

A charming collection of poems finds an American audience in a splendid translation.

Though unknown to the vast majority of American readers, Rasmussen (1915-2002) was a beloved Danish poet, known both for his human-rights writings as well as nonsense verse for children. A sweet compendium of the latter is translated here by the award-winning Nelson and Espeland and animated by Hawkes’ dynamic, colorful acrylic-and-pencil renderings, effectively capturing the playfulness of Rasmussen’s verse in both sound and image. As he explores life’s many processes, activities and imagined situations, Rasmussen’s delightfully warped sense of humor is in full view. It ranges from potty humor—“Feet are to jump on, / drums are to thump on. / Tiptoes to snoop on, / and potties to poop on!”—to outright silliness—“The elf puts on his winter coat […] and then, before he goes, / puts on an empty ice-cream cone / to insulate his nose.” But the poet also does not shy away from more serious subjects, such as the cultivation of friendships, using a light touch to convey his pacifist message: “Those fierce grown-up soldiers / who shoot guns and fight / should learn from us children / to fight a war right. / First, fight with toy guns. / Then, if your war won’t end, / you tickle your enemy / into a friend!”

Children of all ages will be charmed by this collection that demonstrates that poet-translators often make the best ambassadors. (Picture book/poetry. 3-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7636-2379-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: July 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2011

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