# MISSING MITTENS

Murphy’s newest addition to the MathStart series (Probably Pistachio, see below, etc.) introduces readers to the concept of odd and even numbers. Farmer Bill is shivering in the snowy air, but the barnyard needs tending. To his confusion and consternation he finds that, though he is snuggled warmly into his long underwear, hat, coat, scarf, and earmuffs he’s sadly short of one mitten. Here the reader sees the first example of odd and even. This concept is stated in the rhyming text as well as illustrated plainly on the adjoining page. As Farmer Bill visits his farm animals, he discovers that not only does the cow have only three, not four mittens, but his two horses have only seven mittens—not enough for eight hooves. One by one it becomes clear that each animal is short one, each being stuck with an odd number of mittens. Who’s the rascal behind this mischief? Well, let’s just say that when all the mittens are retrieved each has a few mouthfuls munched away. The book closes with two pages of activities for parents to share with their readers from discussions stemming directly from the book to activities drawn from daily life. Karas’s distinctive and confident artwork is a flurry of snowy landscape and snuggly barn. Once the culprit is revealed, readers will want to go back and find him in each scene. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 2001

ISBN: 0-06-028026-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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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 DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT

A comical, fresh look at crayons and color

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Duncan wants to draw, but instead of crayons, he finds a stack of letters listing the crayons’ demands in this humorous tale.

Red is overworked, laboring even on holidays. Gray is exhausted from coloring expansive spaces (elephants, rhinos and whales). Black wants to be considered a color-in color, and Peach? He’s naked without his wrapper! This anthropomorphized lot amicably requests workplace changes in hand-lettered writing, explaining their work stoppage to a surprised Duncan. Some are tired, others underutilized, while a few want official titles. With a little creativity and a lot of color, Duncan saves the day. Jeffers delivers energetic and playful illustrations, done in pencil, paint and crayon. The drawings are loose and lively, and with few lines, he makes his characters effectively emote. Clever spreads, such as Duncan’s “white cat in the snow” perfectly capture the crayons’ conundrum, and photographic representations of both the letters and coloring pages offer another layer of texture, lending to the tale’s overall believability.

A comical, fresh look at crayons and color . (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-399-25537-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

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