Will this be a popular and raucous first-day-of-school favorite? YES! (Picture book. 3-6)

OLLIE'S SCHOOL DAY

A YES-AND-NO BOOK

An interactive look at a young boy’s school day teaches those new to school about routines and manners.

Calmenson, a former kindergarten teacher, savvily encourages the youngest listeners to chime in and be part of the reading process, inviting them in from the very first page: “Would you like to read an Ollie story?” From there, the text takes on a question-and-answer format, with three outlandish questions followed by one realistic one. For school today, will Ollie put on "A bathing suit?...A space suit?...A police officer’s uniform?” Each of these questions is punctuated by a “NO” in large and colorful type. A page turn asks, “Will Ollie put on pants and a shirt, socks and shoes? YES!” Readers are sure to catch the pattern and relish shouting out the answers…after they finish giggling at the silly scenarios, which Carter plays up in her watercolor vignettes and one-page spreads. Ollie is an adorable, rosy-cheeked, blue-eyed blond who ping-pongs between the mischievous imp who practices playing the kazoo during storytime and the perfectly mannered little boy who teaches readers how to behave when meeting friends, answering a teacher’s questions, and getting ready to go home. And when he does get home, he finds not a whale, a juggler or a robot waiting, but someone who loves him. 

Will this be a popular and raucous first-day-of-school favorite? YES! (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 15, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2377-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: June 20, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2012

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Don’t play with your food. Find food at play!

THE RUNAWAY PEA

Can a legume on the lam ever find its hap-pea-ly ever after?

Dinner may be on the table and ready to go, but for one little pea, the adventure has just begun. Despite the protestations and mockery of the food left behind, the runaway pea “ping[s] off the plate” and into a series of unfortunate events. Without intending to, the pea plops into a dollop of sauce, tumbles into a dog bowl, is flung into an aquarium, avoids a mousetrap and a spider web—and that’s just for starters! As the pea’s adventures grow increasingly arduous, he finally rolls under the fridge, where the desiccated fruit he meets there tell him that now that he has touched the floor “you’re not loved anymore.” But what’s this? Could there still be a satisfying ending in store for this little green miscreant? This chipper British import keeps the action high as the pea pinballs from catastrophe to calamity. Clever perspectives amp the slapstick, and the anthropomorphic pea—he has two wide eyes and a mouth but no limbs—is surprisingly expressive. Expert rhymes scan without strain, keeping the merriment high (with the help of the occasional butt joke). Even if peas aren’t any particular child reader’s favorite food, the twist at the end may encourage budding gardeners to experiment with some plantings of their own. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Don’t play with your food. Find food at play! (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 15, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5344-9014-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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A simple story enhanced by its funny, gently ironic illustrations.

MY GOOD MORNING

A little girl diligently gets ready for her day but leaves lots of messes in her wake.

The unnamed girl has light brown skin and dark brown curls similar to her dad’s, and her mom is white. The characters in the digital illustrations have big, exaggerated eyes. The child narrates the text matter-of-factly in simple rhyming sentences: “Time to go potty. I can do this! / Mommy is there to make sure I don’t miss.” Each double-page spread presents a slightly different, humorous visual interpretation of the situation, and it’s in this juxtaposition that the book shines. The cat’s in the hamper, underwear and socks are on the floor, and the pink toilet paper is trailing all over. The two parents seem a little overwhelmed. As they both try to get the girl into her clothes, one arm escapes, and the dad is really sweating from exertion. She insists on tying her laces and buttoning her coat, and the illustrations show the exuberant but incomplete results. As the girl grabs her backpack, her apple rolls out, and Mommy has to grab it. At school, she hangs her coat up, but somehow it lands on the floor (her scarf is also awry), and observant viewers will notice that her shoelace is still untied. In her diverse classroom, she proudly announces: “But this time Daddy, I won’t cry”—and now readers can believe her: there’s nary a tear in sight.

A simple story enhanced by its funny, gently ironic illustrations. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: May 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-60537-342-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clavis

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

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