“A” for effort and good intentions, but the execution leaves much to be desired.

READ REVIEW

PRINCESSES OF BREAD

From the TanTan Math Story series

Fairy tale meets math lesson in this unconventional picture book.

The Queen of Bread bakes delicious loaves of bread that are famous throughout the land. Unfortunately, when she tries to teach her three daughters her craft, none are interested. One day, the queen falls ill and begs her daughters to bake bread in her place. However, since they didn’t pay attention to the queen’s lessons, they have no clue what measurements to use. The breads come out of the oven “tasteless and ugly.” Soon, the neighboring kingdoms refuse to buy their bread anymore, and the entire Bread Kingdom grows poor. The princesses are full of regret. Then lo and behold, their Fairy Godmother appears, giving them a book filled with recipes that teach them to measure with a ruler, a measuring cup, and a scale. Once they put their new skills to use, they are able to save the kingdom and their mother. With the stakes confined to loaves of bread, the tale struggles to rise, and the dark, somber colors and unpolished illustrations are hardly appealing. The story’s teaching mission overwhelms it, interrupting the narrative with preachy sidebars, and the backmatter is a treatise on the importance of measuring tools and math exercises. The characters in this Korean import have pale skin and straight, black hair.

“A” for effort and good intentions, but the execution leaves much to be desired. (Picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-939248-13-8

Page Count: 38

Publisher: TanTan

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Thank you, Gerald and Piggie. We’ll miss you

THE THANK YOU BOOK

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Piggie is “one lucky pig,” and she’s determined to make sure she thanks “everyone who is important to” her in this, the final Elephant & Piggie book.

Gerald is sure his friend will forget someone—“someone important”—but Piggie assures him, “It will be a THANK-O-RAMA!” Piggie proceeds to thank the Squirrels for their great ideas, Snake for playing ball, and the Pigeon “for never giving up.” Piggie thanks and thanks: “I am a thanking machine!” She thanks character after character, even the Flies (“Any time, dude!”), as Gerald continues to interject that she’ll forget “someone VERY important.” Finally Piggie runs out of thanks, and by this time Gerald is steamed. “I goofed,” Piggie says in itty-bitty type, before lavishing thanks on Gerald. But that’s not whom Piggie forgot to thank! A classic Willems tantrum later, Gerald reveals the “someone important”: “Our reader.” Of course. “We could not be ‘us’ without you,” says Gerald, earnestly looking out from the page, and Piggie chimes in, “You are the best!” As Elephant & Piggie books go, this isn’t one of the strongest, but it is a validating valediction to fans of the two characters, who have won Willems two Geisel Medals and five Honors. Yes, Gerald and Piggie have ushered countless readers into literacy, but as they rightly note, reading is a collaborative act.

Thank you, Gerald and Piggie. We’ll miss you . (Early reader. 5-8)

Pub Date: May 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4231-7828-6

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more