“Because they know it’s true… / The best thing in the world is being happy being you!” (Picture book. 4-8)

READ REVIEW

T. VEG

THE STORY OF A CARROT-CRUNCHING DINOSAUR

Reg loves to munch the veg—unfortunately he’s a T. Rex.

“Reginald the T. Rex had a fierce and mighty roar! / His fierce and mighty footsteps thundered through the jungle floor.” He’s excellent at tooth-gnashing and leaping, but there is one thing that differentiates him from his fellow T. Rexes: “while the other T. Rexes munched on juicy steak… // Reginald the T. Rex ate crunchy carrot cake!” He tells them about the wonders of delicious broccoli, grapes, mangos, parsnips, and a host of other veggies and fruit—but his parents worry about him and others laugh at him. Reg goes in search of other herbivores, but they’re scared of him. Meanwhile, his family and friends miss him. A near disaster on their hunt for Reg brings everyone back together, and they have a veggie party. British author Prasadam-Halls rhymes up a rollicking tale of vegetarianism and individuality. Messages of acceptance of difference and healthy eating are intrinsic to character and story. Ingenious rhymes (with British pronunciations) make for a fun and funny read aloud. Manolessou’s bright purple, green, and orange dinosaurs pop off the pages and may just get listeners up and moving to mimic the dancing, jumping, and running dinos.

“Because they know it’s true… / The best thing in the world is being happy being you!” (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2494-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Feb. 20, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2017

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Patchy work, both visually and teleologically.

YOU'RE HERE FOR A REASON

The sultana of high-fructose sentimentality reminds readers that they really are all that.

Despite the title, we’re actually here for a couple of reasons. In fulsome if vague language Tillman embeds one message, that acts of kindness “may triple for days… / or set things in motion in different ways,” in a conceptually separate proposition that she summarizes thus: “perhaps you forgot— / a piece of the world that is precious and dear / would surely be missing if you weren’t here.” Her illustrations elaborate on both themes in equally abstract terms: a lad releases a red kite that ends up a sled for fox kits, while its ribbons add decorative touches to bird nests and a moose before finally being vigorously twirled by a girl and (startlingly) a pair of rearing tigers. Without transition the focus then shifts as the kite is abruptly replaced by a red ball. Both embodied metaphors, plus children and animals, gather at the end for a closing circle dance. The illustrator lavishes attention throughout on figures of children and wild animals, which are depicted with such microscopically precise realism that every fine hair and feather is visible, but she then floats them slightly above hazy, generic backdrops. The overall design likewise has a slapdash feel, as some spreads look relatively crowded with verses while others bear only a single line or phrase.

Patchy work, both visually and teleologically. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-05626-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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This silly take on role reversal will have preschoolers and early-elementary children plotting their own babysitting jobs.

HOW TO BABYSIT A GRANDMA

From the How to... series

Reagan and Wildish create a humorous follow-up how-to tale in this companion to How to Babysit a Grandpa (2012).

“When you babysit a grandma, if you’re lucky…it’s a sleepover at her house.” A committed, pigtailed girl is excited to take on this huge responsibility. A narrative set in conventional black type explains the pacing of the day, and a more informal purple style is utilized for notes or lists of ideas to be considered by a babysitter. The book has a busy look, with some pages containing multiple vignettes showcasing the duo’s visit to the park or playing inside, while other, double-page spreads allow readers’ eyes to linger on the pair’s quieter moments, such as when they eat dinner, gaze at the stars or make shadow puppets on the wall. Parents and children alike will giggle at all the things the granddaughter has planned, along with her helpful pointers. Foods do taste “yummier” with sprinkles, and shouting “Ta-dah!” does make someone feel special after they have dressed up. After a jam-packed day of fun, morning comes and with it, “the hardest part: goodbye time.”

This silly take on role reversal will have preschoolers and early-elementary children plotting their own babysitting jobs. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 25, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-385-75384-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2014

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