OH NO, GOTTA GO #2

Elya has created yet another winner in this natural followup to Oh No, Gotta Go! (2003). this time, the young heroine is on a picnic at the park with her parents. Having learned from her previous experience, she hasn’t had anything to drink and she used the bathroom before leaving home. So when Papá mentions it at the park, she knows she doesn’t have to go. But as she pedals home she soon realizes, “There’s more than one reason to sit on the pot.” “ ‘The salad! The spinach! The green espinaca!’ ‘Why, that means,’ Papá said, ‘she has to go caca!’ ” Out-of-breath readers will race along with the frantic parents and breathe a sigh of relief when they make it just in time. Elya’s rhyming couplets perfectly capture both the toddler’s casual attitude and her sudden urgency for the baño. The mix of Spanish in the text is seamless, the words easily placed in context with the aid of Avril’s pastel and acrylic illustrations (a glossary is also provided). Facial expressions and body language are masterfully presented, adding to the humor of the text. Young children will especially chuckle at the road’s transformation into a steaming volcano, a quite apropos metaphor. This tale about the necessary is definitely necessary. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: June 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-399-24308-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2007

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LMNO PEAS

A passel of industrious peas narrates inventive, alphabetically arranged avocations: “We are peas—alphabet peas! / We work and play in the ABCs.” Amid towering, digitally textured capital letters, Baker’s veggies, sprouting green arms, legs and animated physiognomies, star in scores of charmingly detailed tableaux. At “F,” farmers hoe and water at “Happea Farms,” a duo waves checkered flags at a bike race’s finish line and a quintet of friends jams in a band whose drum kit announces its name: “Pod.” “K” features (soccer) kickers, kayakers navigating the letter’s watery, angled bend and a couple of kings—one atop a tower with crown and scepter, the other crooning into a mike below (he’s Elvis, of course). The well-chosen text type, Frankfurter Medium, pudgy and whimsical, proves eminently crisp and legible for emergent readers. This high-energy romp invites repeat visits by young browsers—there’s plenty to pore over and giggle about. Delicious! Peas out. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: April 5, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4169-9141-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 23, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2010

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Whether they’re counting scores of peas, enjoying the rhymes and puns or relishing the funny visual quirks, families are...

1-2-3 PEAS

After an alphabetical, rhyming tour de force (LMNO Peas, 2010), Baker’s energetic pea pack is back—this time, to count by ones and 10s.

Baker sidesteps the trickiness of rhyming the numerals by selecting a repeating word for each short verse. “ONE pea searching—look, look, look, / TWO peas fishing—hook, hook, hook.” Those numerals rise sky-high (to peas, at least) to dominate the digitally composed visuals, often serving as props for the frenzy of vegetative activity. At “TEN peas building—pound, pound, pound,” the peas erect a wooden platform around the numeral—mainly, it would seem, as an excuse for exuberantly hammering dozens of nails. Baker circumvents those oft-pesky ’teens in one deft double-page spread: “Eleven to nineteen—skip, skip, skip!” Then it’s a double-page spread per decade, with peas traveling, napping, watching fireworks and more. “SEVENTY peas singing” provide a bevy of details to spy: A fab foursome (the Peatles) rocks out above a chorus and director. Nearby, a barbershop quartet, a Wagnerian soloist, a showering pea and a dancing “Peayoncé” add to the fun. 

Whether they’re counting scores of peas, enjoying the rhymes and puns or relishing the funny visual quirks, families are sure to devour Baker’s latest winner. Totally ap-pea-ling! (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: July 24, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4424-4551-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 30, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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