This calming, credible approach to diverting children from the anxiety of volatile storms is a winner.

READ REVIEW

MOMMY, CAN YOU STOP THE RAIN?

Distraction, reassurance, and lots of love from attentive parents help a young child feel comfortable and safe during a thunderstorm.

Patient parents answer each simple, innocent question the child poses honestly and with a plausible response for creating a consoling solution. Though Mommy “cannot stop the rain,” eating sprinkled cookies while wrapped in a warm, dry towel should make the child feel better. Though Daddy cannot “shush the thunder,” marching around the table drumming a soup pot with a spoon should mask the scary noise. And while they cannot “turn off the lightning,” “quiet the wind,” or “send away the storm,” they can all be close and stay cozy and warm until the sun shines again. Illustrations washed with purple and lavender depict a dark, gloomy, stormy day and include details that indicate this white family is Jewish. There is a tzedakah box on the table to collect money for charity, Hebrew alphabet letters on the refrigerator and on the building blocks, and a Shabbat candle scene in a child’s drawing on the wall. The text also uses the Yiddish “Zayde” and “Bubbe” when referencing grandparents. Beyond the visually Judaic atmosphere, the realistic strategies demonstrated can be applied to every young family dealing with a frightened child during a loud, turbulent weather episode.

This calming, credible approach to diverting children from the anxiety of volatile storms is a winner. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68115-555-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Apples & Honey Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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THE GRUFFALO

The action of this rhymed and humorous tale centers upon a mouse who "took a stroll/through the deep dark wood./A fox saw the mouse/and the mouse looked good." The mouse escapes being eaten by telling the fox that he is on his way to meet his friend the gruffalo (a monster of his imagination), whose favorite food is roasted fox. The fox beats a hasty retreat. Similar escapes are in store for an owl and a snake; both hightail it when they learn the particulars: tusks, claws, terrible jaws, eyes orange, tongue black, purple prickles on its back. When the gruffalo suddenly materializes out of the mouse's head and into the forest, the mouse has to think quick, declaring himself inedible as the "scariest creature in the deep dark wood," and inviting the gruffalo to follow him to witness the effect he has on the other creatures. When the gruffalo hears that the mouse's favorite food is gruffalo crumble, he runs away. It's a fairly innocuous tale, with twists that aren't sharp enough and treachery that has no punch. Scheffler's funny scenes prevent the suspense from culminating; all his creatures, predator and prey, are downright lovable. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8037-2386-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1999

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PRINCESSES WEAR PANTS

This book wants to be feminist.

Princess Penelope Pineapple, illustrated as a white girl with dark hair and eyes, is the Amelia Bloomer of the Pineapple Kingdom. She has dresses, but she prefers to wear pants as she engages in myriad activities ranging from yoga to gardening, from piloting a plane to hosting a science fair. When it’s time for the Pineapple Ball, she imagines wearing a sparkly pants outfit, but she worries about Grand Lady Busyboots’ disapproval: “ ‘Pants have no place on a lady!’ she’d say. / ‘That’s how it has been, and that’s how it shall stay.’ ” In a moment of seeming dissonance between the text and art, Penny seems to resolve to wear pants, but then she shows up to the ball in a gown. This apparent contradiction is resolved when the family cat, Miss Fussywiggles, falls from the castle into the moat and Princess Penelope saves her—after stripping off her gown to reveal pink, flowered swimming trunks and a matching top. Impressed, Grand Lady Busyboots resolves that princesses can henceforth wear whatever they wish. While seeing a princess as savior rather than damsel in distress may still seem novel, it seems a stretch to cast pants-wearing as a broadly contested contemporary American feminist issue. Guthrie and Oppenheim’s unimaginative, singsong rhyme is matched in subtlety by Byrne’s bright illustrations.

Skip it . (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2603-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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