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LOOKING DOWN

Torn- and cut-paper collage pictures without words begin with a view of the earth from distant outer space and, with each turn of the page, zoom in toward the planet. Readers see the earth from the moon; moving down into the atmosphere, the North American coastline comes into view. That becomes an aerial view of a landscapemountains, rivers, fields, and a town. The approach to a town is shown in a series of rather realistic images that look like photographs taken from the window of an airplane coming in for a landing. Each picture represents the enlargement of a portion of the previous picture, seeming to click in closer so that new details appear each time, but their location can be traced back through the preceding pages; this process makes readers pause again and again to examine the illustrations more closely. Finally, a group of houses gives way to one house, in front of which a boy kneels, scrutinizing a ladybug through a magnifying glass. A huge close-up of the insect is the last picture in the book. The illustrations have been honed to map-like precision; reading this book forces an understanding of how different maps fit together. As with Banyai's Zoom (p. 220) and Re-Zoom (see review, above), Jenkins's original idea may have been to hurtle viewers in the direction he chose (in this case, ever closer to the scene), but the book reads equally well backwards. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-395-72665-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1995

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ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

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

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 3, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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THE CRAYONS GO BACK TO SCHOOL

Nothing new here but a nonetheless congenial matriculant in publishing’s autumnal rite of back-to-school offerings.

The Crayons head back to class in this latest series entry.

Daywalt’s expository text lays out the basics as various Crayons wave goodbye to the beach, choose a first-day outfit, greet old friends, and make new ones. As in previous outings, the perennially droll illustrations and hand-lettered Crayon-speak drive the humor. The ever wrapperless Peach, opining, “What am I going to wear?” surveys three options: top hat and tails, a chef’s toque and apron, and a Santa suit. New friends Chunky Toddler Crayon (who’s missing a bite-sized bit of their blue point) and Husky Toddler Crayon speculate excitedly on their common last name: “I wonder if we’re related!” White Crayon, all but disappearing against the page’s copious white space, sits cross-legged reading a copy of H.G. Wells’ The Invisible Man. And Yellow and Orange, notable for their previous existential argument about the color of the sun, find agreement in science class: Jupiter, clearly, is yellow AND orange. Everybody’s excited about art class—“Even if they make a mess. Actually…ESPECIALLY if they make a mess!” Here, a spread of crayoned doodles of butterflies, hearts, and stars is followed by one with fulsome scribbles. Fans of previous outings will spot cameos from Glow in the Dark and yellow-caped Esteban (the Crayon formerly known as Pea Green). (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Nothing new here but a nonetheless congenial matriculant in publishing’s autumnal rite of back-to-school offerings. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: May 16, 2023

ISBN: 9780593621110

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Feb. 24, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2023

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