GET DRESSED!

A fashion lookbook for the preschool set—including a soup pot and a skirt made of envelopes?

Influential artist Chwast eschews the normal “getting dressed” picture-book theme in favor of a much more creative ploy. Socks, shirts, pants and underwear all make an appearance, but so do funnels, paintbrushes and feather dusters. Instead of telling youngsters how to get dressed, Chwast encourages them to think about the adventures the outfit could inspire. Why, for instance, would one wear a floral jumpsuit, sunglasses and a fan? Flip open the gatefold to reveal a girl blending into a leopard-inhabited garden, with the sage advice: “Get dressed to hide.” Or the outfit made up of a bath towel, rubber gloves, boxer shorts and rain boots? Lift the flap to find a boy flying, with a towel cape around his neck. The accompanying text: “Get dressed to make believe.” Chwast’s wacky (and yet some, quite normal) combinations are sure to encourage young fashionistas to be comfortable with their own personal style. Even the cover, designed as a suit jacket that fastens with a magnetic snap, invites readers to open a world of possibilities. Sturdy, card-stock pages stand a good chance of making it through multiple reads.

A clever, dapper package. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0107-8

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Abrams Appleseed

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2012

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Delicious on its own, and it will pair well with other books about gardens, plants and healthy eating habits.

PLANTS FEED ME

This simplest of informational picture books offers a sensible, sunny celebration of the plants—specifically the parts of plants—that we eat.

The opening scene shows a boy seated at table surrounded by a rich harvest. He’s holding a watermelon rind that mirrors the wide grin he wears, helping to set the good-natured tone of the book. As preschoolers examine the pages, they will learn about the featured fruits and vegetables and how they grew. Warm gouache-and–colored-pencil illustrations first depict a garden where “Plants reach up for the sun. / They grow down in the ground.” As the narrator goes on to explain that “I eat different parts from different plants,” such as roots, tubers, bulbs, stems, flowers and seeds, youngsters will find labeled images to peruse. The short, declarative sentences are easily digested by the very youngest and will tempt burgeoning readers to test their skills. Best of all, children will surely be inspired to taste some of the produce the next time it appears on their plates.

Delicious on its own, and it will pair well with other books about gardens, plants and healthy eating habits. (Informational picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2526-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

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PIRATES DON'T TAKE BATHS

Echoes of Runaway Bunny color this exchange between a bath-averse piglet and his patient mother. Using a strategy that would probably be a nonstarter in real life, the mother deflects her stubborn offspring’s string of bath-free occupational conceits with appeals to reason: “Pirates NEVER EVER take baths!” “Pirates don’t get seasick either. But you do.” “Yeesh. I’m an astronaut, okay?” “Well, it is hard to bathe in zero gravity. It’s hard to poop and pee in zero gravity too!” And so on, until Mom’s enticing promise of treasure in the deep sea persuades her little Treasure Hunter to take a dive. Chunky figures surrounded by lots of bright white space in Segal’s minimally detailed watercolors keep the visuals as simple as the plotline. The language isn’t quite as basic, though, and as it rendered entirely in dialogue—Mother Pig’s lines are italicized—adult readers will have to work hard at their vocal characterizations for it to make any sense. Moreover, younger audiences (any audiences, come to that) may wonder what the piggy’s watery closing “EUREKA!!!” is all about too. Not particularly persuasive, but this might coax a few young porkers to get their trotters into the tub. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25425-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2011

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