Tsiang portrays the life cycle of imagination with a deft touch; Leng's pictures capture both mirth and motion. Lovely.

THE STONE HATCHLINGS

Can a girl's imagination turn stones into eggs?

Little Abby and her cute dog find two heavy eggs in the backyard. There's no nest nearby: "They must have fallen from the sky," she thinks. Lickety-split, Abby makes a nest of sweaters so she can hatch them. Mother says that they're just stones, but she lets Abby carry her nest to the kitchen so she won't miss dinner. That night, Abby's dreams are especially lively. There could be swans inside the eggs, or alligators or turtles! Next morning, Abby hears some cracks, and out pop two peeping chicks. Mom wonders what Abby's doing with her paint set; even colored blue and yellow, "They're still stones," Mom insists. Clever photo collage allows both to be true: The photographed stones form the bodies of the blue-and-yellow chicks, while wings, tails and heads are rendered in the same cartoon style as the rest of the illustrations. One day, the chicks stop singing, then their feathers begin to fall off. Abby knows what she must do. She takes them outside and kisses them and watches them fly away. Later that day, Mom asks whether Abby wants to bring her birds in for the night. "Those aren't my birds," Abby declares. "Those are stones."

Tsiang portrays the life cycle of imagination with a deft touch; Leng's pictures capture both mirth and motion. Lovely. (Picture book 3-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-55451-433-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 15, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2012

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Though this celebration of community is joyful, there just is not much here.

ONE LOVE

A sugary poem, very loosely based on the familiar song, lacks focus.

Using only the refrain from the original (“One love, one heart, let’s get together and feel all right!”), the reggae great’s daughter Cedella Marley sees this song as her “happy song” and adapts it for children. However, the adaptation robs it of life. After the opening lines, readers familiar with the original song (or the tourism advertisement for Jamaica) will be humming along only to be stopped by the bland lines that follow: “One love, what the flower gives the bee.” and then “One love, what Mother Earth gives the tree.” Brantley-Newton’s sunny illustrations perfectly reflect the saccharine quality of the text. Starting at the beginning of the day, readers see a little girl first in bed, under a photograph of Bob Marley, the sun streaming into her room, a bird at the window. Each spread is completely redundant—when the text is about family love, the illustration actually shows little hearts floating from her parents to the little girl. An image of a diverse group getting ready to plant a community garden, walking on top of a river accompanies the words “One love, like the river runs to the sea.”

Though this celebration of community is joyful, there just is not much here. (afterword) (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4521-0224-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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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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