DINNERTIME!

A passel of roly-poly bunnies eludes the ravenous clutches of a sly fox. A group of six rabbit siblings frolic in the fields, unaware of the danger lurking nearby. Williams’s (Let’s Go Visiting, 1998, etc.) jaunty rhyming couplets set the scene, describing the bunnies at play and their predator’s location. Each idyllic scenario is followed by the recurring refrain: “Run, fat rabbits! Run, run, run! / That fox wants to eat you, one by one!” With every leap, the feisty fox cries “Dinnertime!” From a group of six down to one sole bunny, the rabbits continue to merrily play, seemingly unaware of their dwindling numbers. Woven throughout the tale is the suspicion that the fox has consumed the missing bunnies, giving the story a Grimm Brothers feel and thrill. However, the remaining bunny’s flight down the hole reveals the entire family safely ensconced within their home. Argent’s (Nighty Night!, 2001, etc.) watercolor illustrations are both humorous and a bit hair-raising. Following the hapless bunnies is a collection of sheep, geese, and mice, which form a comical Greek chorus, crying out the warning to the youngsters. Argent cleverly reduces their numbers along with the rabbits for the edification of observant readers. With snapping jaws and sudden pounces, her depiction of the fox wavers on the edge of being frightening. However, while younger readers may be slightly alarmed, older preschoolers will enjoy the gasps and starts of this rousing tale. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-15-216471-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2002

LOVE FROM THE CRAYONS

As ephemeral as a valentine.

Daywalt and Jeffers’ wandering crayons explore love.

Each double-page spread offers readers a vision of one of the anthropomorphic crayons on the left along with the statement “Love is [color].” The word love is represented by a small heart in the appropriate color. Opposite, childlike crayon drawings explain how that color represents love. So, readers learn, “love is green. / Because love is helpful.” The accompanying crayon drawing depicts two alligators, one holding a recycling bin and the other tossing a plastic cup into it, offering readers two ways of understanding green. Some statements are thought-provoking: “Love is white. / Because sometimes love is hard to see,” reaches beyond the immediate image of a cat’s yellow eyes, pink nose, and black mouth and whiskers, its white face and body indistinguishable from the paper it’s drawn on, to prompt real questions. “Love is brown. / Because sometimes love stinks,” on the other hand, depicted by a brown bear standing next to a brown, squiggly turd, may provoke giggles but is fundamentally a cheap laugh. Some of the color assignments have a distinctly arbitrary feel: Why is purple associated with the imagination and pink with silliness? Fans of The Day the Crayons Quit (2013) hoping for more clever, metaliterary fun will be disappointed by this rather syrupy read.

As ephemeral as a valentine. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-9268-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2021

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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