WOW! SCHOOL!

Having conquered New York City and the rest of the United States (Wow! City! 2004; Wow! America! 2006), the ebullient Izzy is back to take on kindergarten—and wow! From “Wow! Classroom!” and “Wow! Art!” to “Wow! Science!” and “Wow! Friends!,” she meets every new experience with her characteristic verve. Her reddish-blonde curls stand out in each spread, allowing readers to spot her instantly against the almost impossibly busy backgrounds. Each oversized frame is packed with detail, perfectly evoking today’s multi-station kindergarten classroom. The book’s orientation varies periodically, requiring the occasional 90-degree turn for proper viewing, an exercise that mimics brilliantly the many shifts in a kindergartner’s day. “Wow! Teacher!” is one of these, presenting a larger-than-life figure who can’t be contained within the frame; “Wow! Lunch!” is another, a bird’s-eye view of a cafeteria table revealing a smorgasbord of luncheon possibilities. This is perhaps the apotheosis of Neubecker’s disarmingly childlike treatments of a youngster’s first encounters with the world—Izzy’s embrace of school is 100 percent genuine, 100 percent kid. As a celebration of that nearly universal experience, the first day of school, it is nothing other than perfect. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-7868-3896-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2007

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The book is available in just about every format--but this is the perfect one.

GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU

POP-UP

It's hard to believe that a pop-up wasn't the creators' original intention, so seamlessly do moveable parts dovetail into this modern classic's storyline.

In contrast to the tale's 1998 pop -up version, the figures here move on every page, and with an unusually graceful naturalism to boot. From pulling down Big Nutbrown Hare's ears on the opening spread to make sure he's listening to drowsily turning his head to accept a final good-night kiss in a multi-leveled pull-down tableau at the close, all of Little Nutbrown Hare's hops, stretches and small gestures serve the poetically spare text—as do Big Nutbrown's wider, higher responses to his charge's challenges. As readers turn a flap to read Big Nutbrown's "But I love you this much," his arms extend to demonstrate. The emotional connection between the two hares is clearer than ever in Jeram's peaceful, restrained outdoor scenes, which are slightly larger than those in the trade edition, and the closing scene is made even more intimate by hiding the closing line ("I love you right up to the moon—and back") until an inconspicuous flap is opened up.  

The book is available in just about every format--but this is the perfect one. (Pop-up picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7636-5378-1

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2011

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A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together.

HEY, DUCK!

A clueless duckling tries to make a new friend.

He is confused by this peculiar-looking duck, who has a long tail, doesn’t waddle and likes to be alone. No matter how explicitly the creature denies he is a duck and announces that he is a cat, the duckling refuses to acknowledge the facts.  When this creature expresses complete lack of interest in playing puddle stomp, the little ducking goes off and plays on his own. But the cat is not without remorse for rejecting an offered friendship. Of course it all ends happily, with the two new friends enjoying each other’s company. Bramsen employs brief sentences and the simplest of rhymes to tell this slight tale. The two heroes are meticulously drawn with endearing, expressive faces and body language, and their feathers and fur appear textured and touchable. Even the detailed tree bark and grass seem three-dimensional. There are single- and double-page spreads, panels surrounded by white space and circular and oval frames, all in a variety of eye-pleasing juxtapositions. While the initial appeal is solidly visual, young readers will get the gentle message that friendship is not something to take for granted but is to be embraced with open arms—or paws and webbed feet.

A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-375-86990-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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