Pass.

READ REVIEW

KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK! WHO'S THERE?

In this guess-who’s-knocking title, the clues are either too vague or too easy, the story is slight, and the illustrations are a tad pedestrian.

Set in a wintry clime at night, some things knock four separate times on Bear’s door. They each beckon to him. The first calls, “Boo!” A turn of the page reveals what Bear guesses is outside. On those pages, the illustration does not entirely fill the page but has the rounded border of a thought balloon. A ghost, an ogre, the “big bad wolf” and a “wicked witch” each demand to be let in. Readers witness poor Bear becoming increasingly frightened as the mysterious voices persist. Is his imagination getting the best of him, or is he right to be so cautious? The last rapping on the door, however, results in Bear declaring, “Go away! I do not open the door to strangers.” To his relief it is not a stranger but his tiny friend, Archibald. Bear is so happy to see his pal, he wipes the sweat off his brow and smiles. But then Archibald announces a surprise for Bear. He has brought the exact same scary creatures Bear was worrying about to dinner. Though Goossens attempts to create an interactive guessing game for readers and perhaps deliver a message of caution to not trust strangers, it fails to coalesce into an engaging read.

Pass. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7358-4122-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: NorthSouth

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2013

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Clear text, amusing illustrations, and a captivating easy-to-read story make this a winner for horse-loving emerging readers.

GOOD NIGHT, KNIGHT

From the I Like To Read series

Knight and Horse follow their dreams— literally.

Horse and Knight are exhausted when readers meet them, collapsing upon returning to their castle. But when Knight has a dream of golden cookies, he (or she—readers never see Knight with visor up) wakes the sleepy steed, and they go questing for the treasure. They look everywhere—hollow trees, the bushes, and a pond—only to find the cookies at home in a jar on the kitchen table. The loony plot and the spirited pen-and-ink–and-watercolor illustrations elevate this book above most for emerging readers. Knight’s metal suit, astonishingly, betrays emotions and energy level, whether tired, curious, or energized. (Even the armored feet look tired.) Watching Knight sleep with tush in the air will certainly elicit giggles from the youngest readers. Horse, too, is metal-clad, but its armor does not cover its skeptical eyes, allowing readers to laugh along while the near-asleep rider falls out of the saddle. Clear, readable typeface and familiar sight words are the order of the day. Repeated words (especially “good,” “night,” “horse,” “knight,” and “sleep”) punctuate the humorous story, making it easy to decode. When Horse has a dream of its own at the end, smiling readers will have no choice but to wonder where the pair are off to now.

Clear text, amusing illustrations, and a captivating easy-to-read story make this a winner for horse-loving emerging readers. (Early reader. 4-6)

Pub Date: May 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3206-6

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2015

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The percentage of American children who often visit restaurants of the type described may be relatively small, but...

CHEFS AND WHAT THEY DO

Where does the delicious food in a restaurant come from?  

When Mommy and Daddy take you to a restaurant, what happens, and where does the food come from? A chef “makes all that delicious food,” the book explains but not “all by himself”(parenthetically, children are told that a chef might also be a woman). He wears special clothes. He has special tools: different kinds of knives and spoons and pots and mixers. He keeps fresh food, brought in every morning, in a cold-storage room. Sometimes chefs make up new recipes no one has ever tasted before. He puts them on a menu. The chef and his team work hard even before the restaurant is open. When the orders come in, their work really begins. Belgian author and illustrator Slegers’ full-page illustrations of smiling chefs going about their work feature bright cartoons that look much like the babies in her board books. The text, translated from the Dutch, can sound a bit robotic, and adult readers will likely have to explain a few words. However, food-related activities to try with a parent or teacher after the info-story are a plus. 

The percentage of American children who often visit restaurants of the type described may be relatively small, but blossoming foodies will enjoy learning about activity behind the scenes in a high-end restaurant. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1605371795

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clavis

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2014

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