Excellent collaboration produced a winner: graceful, informative, and entertaining.

PLANTS CAN'T SIT STILL

Double-page spreads of watercolor and collage use minimal words to describe how and why plants move.

Plants don’t have feet or fins or wings, yet they can move in many ways. / Look closely and you’ll discover that plants can’t sit still.” These words dance across two pages loaded with images of several kinds of plants in different stages of their lives: seeds, vines, flowers, fruits. Colorful, exuberant illustrations work impressively with the text to prove that plants—in every stage—move in order to find and acquire uniform needs: “water, sunshine, and room to grow.” Throughout, readers are treated to a plethora of words more often used for fauna than flora, such as “wiggle” and “squirm.” Nighttime images show bean leaves “nodding” and tulip flowers “folding,” while moon flowers “wake with the stars.” One sentence is momentarily startling to adults with fixed definitions: “A seed is a plant built for travel.” However, the pages that follow easily support that statement, as different kinds of seeds depart from parent plants, travel, and grow into seedlings. The resources at the end of the book are as well-planned and carefully executed as the rest, offering information—including names and descriptions of every plant in the book—that expands the interest level of the text from preschool into early elementary.

Excellent collaboration produced a winner: graceful, informative, and entertaining. (Informational picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4677-8031-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A TREE IS NICE

A nursery school approach to a general concept. "A tree is nice"- Why? Because..."We can climb the tree...play pirate ship...pick the apples...build playhouses out of the leaves. A tree is nice to hang a swing in...Birds build nests in trees... Sticks come off trees...People have picnics there too"...etc. etc. One follows the give and take of a shared succession of reactions to what a tree- or trees- can mean. There is a kind of poetic simplicity that is innate in small children. Marc Simont has made the pictures, half in full color, and they too have a childlike directness (with an underlying sophistication that adults will recognize). Not a book for everyone -but those who like it will like it immensely. The format (6 x 11) makes it a difficult book for shelving, so put it in the "clean hands" section of flat books. Here's your first book for Arbor Day use- a good spring and summer item.

Pub Date: June 15, 1956

ISBN: 978-0-06-443147-7

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Harper

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1956

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.

MAMA BUILT A LITTLE NEST

Echoing the meter of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” Ward uses catchy original rhymes to describe the variety of nests birds create.

Each sweet stanza is complemented by a factual, engaging description of the nesting habits of each bird. Some of the notes are intriguing, such as the fact that the hummingbird uses flexible spider web to construct its cup-shaped nest so the nest will stretch as the chicks grow. An especially endearing nesting behavior is that of the emperor penguin, who, with unbelievable patience, incubates the egg between his tummy and his feet for up to 60 days. The author clearly feels a mission to impart her extensive knowledge of birds and bird behavior to the very young, and she’s found an appealing and attractive way to accomplish this. The simple rhymes on the left page of each spread, written from the young bird’s perspective, will appeal to younger children, and the notes on the right-hand page of each spread provide more complex factual information that will help parents answer further questions and satisfy the curiosity of older children. Jenkins’ accomplished collage illustrations of common bird species—woodpecker, hummingbird, cowbird, emperor penguin, eagle, owl, wren—as well as exotics, such as flamingoes and hornbills, are characteristically naturalistic and accurate in detail.

A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.   (author’s note, further resources) (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2116-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more