As a simple Spanish vocabulary builder, this book, along with its companion, Frutas/Fruit, is serviceable, but as a...

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VERDURAS / VEGETABLES

A bright celebration of vegetables in Spanish and English for the youngest readers.

With, mostly, one vegetable per page (pumpkins and sweet corn each occupy a double-page spread), this introduction to veggies offers far more variety than the usual board book. Carrots, peas, and broccoli—the usual suspects—share space with such relative exotics as artichokes, eggplants, and asparagus. Rendered in bright, painterly strokes, each vegetable is placed on a solid-colored background that allows it to pop: creamy, yellow onion on deep blue; dark purple beet on light green; leafy, green spinach on brick red. All look, well, good enough to eat. A bilingual edition of the English-only Vegetables (2008), this board book appears to prioritize Spanish in its typography and design, printing the Spanish text in bold above the English. A closer look, however, reveals that in sequencing, the text still gives preference to English rhythm and rhyme. The highly chantable “green bean / radish // sweet potato / yam // cauliflower / cabbage // Vegetables jam!” in English becomes “el ejote / el rábano // el camote / el camote rojo // la coliflor / la col (o el repollo) // ¡Una fiesta de verduras!” in Spanish. A true Spanish-language equivalent to the original would need to be built from the ground up in order to achieve the same rich experience.

As a simple Spanish vocabulary builder, this book, along with its companion, Frutas/Fruit, is serviceable, but as a rollicking read-aloud, it pales by comparison with its original. (Board book. 6 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-9911933-5-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sara Anderson

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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A memorable story of kindness, courage and wonder.

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WONDER

After being home-schooled for years, Auggie Pullman is about to start fifth grade, but he’s worried: How will he fit into middle school life when he looks so different from everyone else?

Auggie has had 27 surgeries to correct facial anomalies he was born with, but he still has a face that has earned him such cruel nicknames as Freak, Freddy Krueger, Gross-out and Lizard face. Though “his features look like they’ve been melted, like the drippings on a candle” and he’s used to people averting their eyes when they see him, he’s an engaging boy who feels pretty ordinary inside. He’s smart, funny, kind and brave, but his father says that having Auggie attend Beecher Prep would be like sending “a lamb to the slaughter.” Palacio divides the novel into eight parts, interspersing Auggie’s first-person narrative with the voices of family members and classmates, wisely expanding the story beyond Auggie’s viewpoint and demonstrating that Auggie’s arrival at school doesn’t test only him, it affects everyone in the community. Auggie may be finding his place in the world, but that world must find a way to make room for him, too.

A memorable story of kindness, courage and wonder. (Fiction. 8-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-375-86902-0

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2011

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This deeply satisfying story offers what all children crave when letting go—security and a trusted companion.

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  • New York Times Bestseller

  • Caldecott Honor Book

SLEEP LIKE A TIGER

The stages and script preceding this child’s passage into dreamland are so appealing they will surely inspire imitation.

When the protagonist announces that she is not sleepy, her wise parents counter that they are not requiring sleep, only pajama-wearing, face-washing and teeth-brushing. She then feels so good that “she loved / …stretching her toes / down under the crisp sheets, / lying as still as an otter / floating in a stream.” Logue’s words lull and caress as parents and child converse about how and where animals sleep. (Many appeared on earlier pages as toys.) Alone, the youngster replays each scene, inserting herself; the cozy images help her relax. Zagarenski’s exquisite compositions are rendered digitally and in mixed-media on wood, offering much to ponder. The paintings are luminous, from the child’s starry pajamas to the glowing whale supporting her sleep journey. Transparent layers, blending patterns, complex textures and wheeled objects add to the sense of gentle movement. The tiger, both the beloved cloth version and the real deal, is featured prominently; it is the child who contributes this example, narrating the connection between strength and rest. When sleep arrives, the stuffed animal is cradled in her arms; she leans against the jungle beast, and he clings to her doll.

This deeply satisfying story offers what all children crave when letting go—security and a trusted companion. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-547-64102-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Aug. 8, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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