Teachers, make sure this is on your shelves—it’s a great read-aloud, an easy read for beginning readers, and a model for...

I HEAR A PICKLE

AND SMELL, SEE, TOUCH, & TASTE IT, TOO!

Only the last page features the titular pickle—the rest of the book is a tribute to the five senses that will resonate with young readers.

Highlighting sensory experiences that will be familiar to the majority of readers, Isadora focuses on one sense at a time, progressing from hearing to smelling, seeing, touching, and tasting (readers can track their progress with a list in the upper right of each spread); she devotes three spreads to all but taste, which gets only two. An ethnically diverse group of young children tell readers what they sense—or don’t—in simple declarative sentences that are sometimes embellished by the kids’ thoughts: “I don’t smell. I have a cold.” “I don’t see the words in my book. / I wear my glasses. I see the words!” “I touch the egg. Oops!” While one girl enjoys PB&J, another says, “I taste a jelly sandwich. I’m allergic to peanuts.” Isadora’s ink-and-watercolor artwork uses vignettes and white backgrounds to bring each sense to the forefront, and children of most skin and hair colors will find at least one face like their own in these pages (glasses are the only depicted disability, however).

Teachers, make sure this is on your shelves—it’s a great read-aloud, an easy read for beginning readers, and a model for student books. (Picture/concept book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 12, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-399-16049-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 6, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2015

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PIRATES DON'T TAKE BATHS

Echoes of Runaway Bunny color this exchange between a bath-averse piglet and his patient mother. Using a strategy that would probably be a nonstarter in real life, the mother deflects her stubborn offspring’s string of bath-free occupational conceits with appeals to reason: “Pirates NEVER EVER take baths!” “Pirates don’t get seasick either. But you do.” “Yeesh. I’m an astronaut, okay?” “Well, it is hard to bathe in zero gravity. It’s hard to poop and pee in zero gravity too!” And so on, until Mom’s enticing promise of treasure in the deep sea persuades her little Treasure Hunter to take a dive. Chunky figures surrounded by lots of bright white space in Segal’s minimally detailed watercolors keep the visuals as simple as the plotline. The language isn’t quite as basic, though, and as it rendered entirely in dialogue—Mother Pig’s lines are italicized—adult readers will have to work hard at their vocal characterizations for it to make any sense. Moreover, younger audiences (any audiences, come to that) may wonder what the piggy’s watery closing “EUREKA!!!” is all about too. Not particularly persuasive, but this might coax a few young porkers to get their trotters into the tub. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25425-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2011

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It’s a bit hard to dance, or count, to this beat.

ONE MORE DINO ON THE FLOOR

Dinos that love to move and groove get children counting from one to 10—and perhaps moving to the beat.

Beginning with a solo bop by a female dino (she has eyelashes, doncha know), the dinosaur dance party begins. Each turn of the page adds another dino and a change in the dance genre: waltz, country line dancing, disco, limbo, square dancing, hip-hop, and swing. As the party would be incomplete without the moonwalk, the T. Rex does the honors…and once they are beyond their initial panic at his appearance, the onlookers cheer wildly. The repeated refrain on each spread allows for audience participation, though it doesn’t easily trip off the tongue: “They hear a swish. / What’s this? / One more? / One more dino on the floor.” Some of the prehistoric beasts are easily identifiable—pterodactyl, ankylosaurus, triceratops—but others will be known only to the dino-obsessed; none are identified, other than T-Rex. Packed spreads filled with psychedelically colored dinos sporting blocks of color, stripes, or polka dots (and infectious looks of joy) make identification even more difficult, to say nothing of counting them. Indeed, this fails as a counting primer: there are extra animals (and sometimes a grumpy T-Rex) in the backgrounds, and the next dino to join the party pokes its head into the frame on the page before. Besides all that, most kids won’t get the dance references.

It’s a bit hard to dance, or count, to this beat. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8075-1598-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2016

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