BRING ON THE BIRDS

Over rhyming captions that only occasionally exceed three or four words, Stockdale presents painted portraits of 21 wild birds. Portrayed in a flat graphic style and, mostly, in frozen motion against simplified natural settings, each—from great horned owl and blue-footed booby to Adelie penguin, ostrich and broad-tailed hummingbird—is large and easily visible on the page, rendered with clear hues and sharp color borders likely to draw and hold the attention even of unfledged young viewers. The images are often mesmerizing in their abstraction, inviting readers to pause and admire. A flock of red-billed oxpeckers is arrayed on a slope that readers may take a few beats to recognize as the neck of a giraffe; the white-tailed ptarmigans look at first like just a few snowdrifts. The author links her gallery together with the concluding note that “Dull or dazzling colors, / long or little legs. / All of them have feathers, / and all are hatched from eggs,” then identifies each bird in a closing key with one or two sentences of descriptive commentary. Broader in geographical range and even simpler in design, this makes a natural follow-up to Lois Ehlert’s Feathers for Lunch (1990) as a primary introduction to our avian cousins. (bibliography) (Informational picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-56145-560-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: Jan. 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2011

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A rudimentary introduction, with licensed characters that are just along for the ride.

IT'S RAMADAN, CURIOUS GEORGE

For one special month, George accompanies a young friend through fasts, feasts, and good works at the mosque.

Such headers as “Waiting for Sunset” and “Sharing with Others,” along with glimpses of stars and crescents in the background and a “Ramadan Mubarak” banner, offer oblique references to some basic themes and symbols, but Ramadan’s purpose, many of its practices, and even the word “Muslim” go unmentioned in this tabbed board book. Khan’s rhyme lumbers along (“George can’t wait for tomorrow, / When the month of Ramadan will start. / It’s a special time of year for his friends, / And George is going to take part!”). Meanwhile, Young plugs George and the Man in the Yellow Hat into scenes with Kareem, his father, and his hijab-wearing mother. (Kareem and his dad appear to be black; his mother is lighter-skinned.) They make cookies, gather with friends at sunset to break their daily fast and pray (offstage), then enjoy “Kabobs, curry, veggies, and rice” with chocolate-dipped bananas for dessert. At the mosque, George helps Kareem make food baskets and tries to pass out the racked shoes until an imam gently stops him. Finally, beneath a thin crescent moon at month’s end, George gets a new vest (and the Man a yellow fez) for the celebration of Eid.

A rudimentary introduction, with licensed characters that are just along for the ride. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: May 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-65226-2

Page Count: 14

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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Peppa Pig partisans will be pleased, but the book does little that hasn’t been done elsewhere already.

I CAN BE ANYTHING!

From the Peppa Pig series

Peppa Pig, of British TV fame, loves to dress up and imagines herself in a variety of professions on these subtly Peppa-shaped pages.

In dance class, she pretends to be a ballerina, and at “Mummy Pig’s volunteer firehouse, Peppa imagines she is a firefighter, too.” In five further double-page tableaux, she role-plays—and bucks some gender stereotypes—at being a chef, a nurse, a construction worker, and an astronaut. Peppa Pig fans will recognize their favorite pink heroine, complete with her signature Picasso-esque eye placement and red dress, and several supporting critters (including Pedro Pony) of a variety of species fill out the simply drawn, bland, full-bleed digital scenes. The text consists of two to three sentences of simple narration and the name of each career with a few important action words set in bold, colored type. The final spread reviews all the jobs Peppa explored, emphasizing that she “loves to imagine that she can be anything when she grows up.”

Peppa Pig partisans will be pleased, but the book does little that hasn’t been done elsewhere already. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-338-22883-0

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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