Though the book has lots of potential, it ultimately falls flat.

READ REVIEW

LITTLE NELLY'S BIG BOOK

Little Nelly reads a book that leads her to conclude that she is a mouse, because she is gray and has big ears and a skinny tail.

She finds some mice and announces that she is one of them. Nothing they say can convince her otherwise, not even when they point out the obvious differences in size. But these mice are kind; they make her welcome and take very good care of her. Granny Mouse does some reading of her own and gently informs Little Nelly that there are "mice" like her at the zoo. When Nelly realizes that zoo mice are very much like her, she decides to live with them. Meanwhile, Micky Mouse (really!?) reads Nelly’s book and concludes that he is an elephant. Goodhart plays out the bizarre cases of mistaken identity with nary a nudge or a wink, relying on the sharp eyes and minds of young readers to understand the absurdities. In spite of Nelly’s delusions, or perhaps because of them, she is a sympathetic character who is finding her way in a confusing world. Rowland’s appropriately goofy digitally created illustrations adhere to the plot and are enhanced with lots of hilarious details. Unfortunately, the nonsensical moral of the tale—“books should always have pictures”—lands with a crash.

Though the book has lots of potential, it ultimately falls flat. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: July 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-59990-799-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2012

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A culturally intricate slice of a lupine courier’s life.

¡VAMOS! LET'S GO TO THE MARKET

From the ¡Vamos! series

Little Lobo and his dog, Bernabé, journey through a Mexican mercado delivering diverse goods to a variety of booths.

With the aid of red words splattered throughout the spreads as labels, Raúl the Third gives an introduction to Spanish vocabulary as Little Lobo, an anthropomorphic wolf, leaves his house, fills his cart with objects from his warehouse, and delivers them to the market’s vendors. The journey also serves as a crash course in Mexican culture, as the images are packed with intertextual details such as food, traditional games, and characters, including Cantinflas, Frida Khalo, and Juan Gabriel. Readers acquainted with Raúl the Third’s characters from his Lowriders series with author Cathy Camper will appreciate cameos from familiar characters. As he makes his rounds, Little Lobo also collects different artifacts that people offer in exchange for his deliveries of shoe polish, clothespins, wood, tissue paper, paintbrushes, and a pair of golden laces. Although Raúl the Third departs from the ball-pen illustrations that he is known for, his depiction of creatures and critters peppering the borderland where his stories are set remains in his trademark style. The softer hues in the illustrations (chosen by colorist Bay) keep the busy compositions friendly, and the halftone patterns filling the illustrations create foregrounds and backgrounds reminiscent of Roy Lichtenstein’s pointillism.

A culturally intricate slice of a lupine courier’s life. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-55726-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Versify/HMH

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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RAIN SCHOOL

It takes a village to make a school. In Chad, big brothers and sisters lead the way for younger children on the first day of school. Little Thomas is full of questions. When he and the other children arrive, there are no classrooms and no desks. But the teacher's there, holding a trowel. "We will build our school," she declares. Everyone sets to work, making mud bricks that dry in the sun and a roof out of grass and saplings. Thomas loves his lessons; every day he learns something new. At the end of the school year, the minds of the students "are fat with knowledge." And just in time: The rainy season arrives and makes short work of the schoolhouse. Come September, they'll start all over. Rumford's illustrations make great use of color, dark brown skin and bright shirts, shorts and dresses against golden backgrounds, the hues applied in smudgy layers that infuse each scene with warmth—until the gray rains arrive. It's a nifty social-studies lesson tucked into a warm tale of community. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-547-24307-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 1, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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