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

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Inspiring, adventurous fun for aspirational kids.

SADIE SPROCKET BUILDS A ROCKET

A little girl’s imaginative plan to become an astronaut and be the first to travel to Mars really takes off.

Together with a crew of stuffed animals (owl, rabbit, and teddy bear), Sadie Sprocket does her research, gathers materials to build her spaceship, and, with support from family and friends—and media coverage—embarks on her historic journey. Rhyming quatrains tell the story of how Sadie patiently reads, cooks, and records important data during the 100-day interplanetary journey. And then: “The Earth behind, so far away, / was now a tiny dot. / Then Sadie cried, ‘There’s planet Mars! / It’s smaller than I thought!’ ” After landing and gathering 20 bags of samples, Sadie and crew are stuck in a red sandstorm while trying to take off again. But with Sadie’s determination and can-do spirit, they blast off, safely returning to Earth with future heroic space-exploration ideas in mind. Spiky cartoons transform a child’s playroom into an outer-space venue, complete with twinkling stars and colorful planets. Sadie presents White while her encouraging fans feature more diversity. An addendum includes brief facts about Mars and a handful of women space scientists. (This book was reviewed digitally with 11-by-17-inch double-page spreads viewed at 50% of actual size.)

Inspiring, adventurous fun for aspirational kids. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5420-1803-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way.

NOAH CHASES THE WIND

A young boy sees things a little differently than others.

Noah can see patterns in the dust when it sparkles in the sunlight. And if he puts his nose to the ground, he can smell the “green tang of the ants in the grass.” His most favorite thing of all, however, is to read. Noah has endless curiosity about how and why things work. Books open the door to those answers. But there is one question the books do not explain. When the wind comes whistling by, where does it go? Noah decides to find out. In a chase that has a slight element of danger—wind, after all, is unpredictable—Noah runs down streets, across bridges, near a highway, until the wind lifts him off his feet. Cowman’s gusty wisps show each stream of air turning a different jewel tone, swirling all around. The ribbons gently bring Noah home, setting him down under the same thinking tree where he began. Did it really happen? Worthington’s sensitive exploration leaves readers with their own set of questions and perhaps gratitude for all types of perspective. An author’s note mentions children on the autism spectrum but widens to include all who feel a little different.

An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60554-356-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Redleaf Lane

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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