Step right into Ruby’s fabulous world, full of the ordinary and extraordinary.


Ruby shares a busy day with readers.

An unnamed narrator introduces the reader to Ruby, who “can’t wait to share her day with you.” Readers are invited into Ruby’s room, where the various activities with which Ruby keeps herself busy are on display. Among many other things, Ruby likes to invent things, to “figure out how things work,” and to “do excavations” with her best friend, Teddy (a puppy). She travels backward and forward in time in the time machine she has invented. Readers are encouraged to stay involved in Ruby’s world while doing some self-reflection with questions sprinkled throughout: “Can you feel [your skeleton] underneath your skin?” and “What kinds of things are you curious about?” Brown-skinned Ruby, with her sweet smile, huge Afro, and dynamic curiosity, is an engaging protagonist in whose world readers will delightedly immerse themselves. The illustrations use a tropical palette and a range of double-page spreads and vignettes, including a lovely wordless spread, to achieve an inviting narrative that feels complete with introduction, deep imagination, and a thoughtful farewell to readers. Ruby is an inspirational character and, for truly imaginative young minds, a wonderful playmate.

Step right into Ruby’s fabulous world, full of the ordinary and extraordinary. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: May 25, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-7352-6361-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tundra Books

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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A nursery school approach to a general concept. "A tree is nice"- Why? Because..."We can climb the pirate ship...pick the playhouses out of the leaves. A tree is nice to hang a swing in...Birds build nests in trees... Sticks come off trees...People have picnics there too"...etc. etc. One follows the give and take of a shared succession of reactions to what a tree- or trees- can mean. There is a kind of poetic simplicity that is innate in small children. Marc Simont has made the pictures, half in full color, and they too have a childlike directness (with an underlying sophistication that adults will recognize). Not a book for everyone -but those who like it will like it immensely. The format (6 x 11) makes it a difficult book for shelving, so put it in the "clean hands" section of flat books. Here's your first book for Arbor Day use- a good spring and summer item.

Pub Date: June 15, 1956

ISBN: 978-0-06-443147-7

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Harper

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1956

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A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.


Echoing the meter of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” Ward uses catchy original rhymes to describe the variety of nests birds create.

Each sweet stanza is complemented by a factual, engaging description of the nesting habits of each bird. Some of the notes are intriguing, such as the fact that the hummingbird uses flexible spider web to construct its cup-shaped nest so the nest will stretch as the chicks grow. An especially endearing nesting behavior is that of the emperor penguin, who, with unbelievable patience, incubates the egg between his tummy and his feet for up to 60 days. The author clearly feels a mission to impart her extensive knowledge of birds and bird behavior to the very young, and she’s found an appealing and attractive way to accomplish this. The simple rhymes on the left page of each spread, written from the young bird’s perspective, will appeal to younger children, and the notes on the right-hand page of each spread provide more complex factual information that will help parents answer further questions and satisfy the curiosity of older children. Jenkins’ accomplished collage illustrations of common bird species—woodpecker, hummingbird, cowbird, emperor penguin, eagle, owl, wren—as well as exotics, such as flamingoes and hornbills, are characteristically naturalistic and accurate in detail.

A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.   (author’s note, further resources) (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2116-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2014

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