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

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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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Earnest and silly by turns, it doesn’t quite capture the attention or the imagination, although surely its heart is in the...

ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER

Rhymed couplets convey the story of a girl who likes to build things but is shy about it. Neither the poetry nor Rosie’s projects always work well.

Rosie picks up trash and oddments where she finds them, stashing them in her attic room to work on at night. Once, she made a hat for her favorite zookeeper uncle to keep pythons away, and he laughed so hard that she never made anything publicly again. But when her great-great-aunt Rose comes to visit and reminds Rosie of her own past building airplanes, she expresses her regret that she still has not had the chance to fly. Great-great-aunt Rose is visibly modeled on Rosie the Riveter, the iconic, red-bandanna–wearing poster woman from World War II. Rosie decides to build a flying machine and does so (it’s a heli-o-cheese-copter), but it fails. She’s just about to swear off making stuff forever when Aunt Rose congratulates her on her failure; now she can go on to try again. Rosie wears her hair swooped over one eye (just like great-great-aunt Rose), and other figures have exaggerated hairdos, tiny feet and elongated or greatly rounded bodies. The detritus of Rosie’s collections is fascinating, from broken dolls and stuffed animals to nails, tools, pencils, old lamps and possibly an erector set. And cheddar-cheese spray.

Earnest and silly by turns, it doesn’t quite capture the attention or the imagination, although surely its heart is in the right place. (historical note) (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0845-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2013

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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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