Will appeal to readers who know and love Lake Superior.



A family experiences the coming of evening on the shores of Lake Superior.

This colorful, simple tale combines a rhyming narrative with a repeating “hush-a-bye” refrain: “Hush-a-bye, sun. / Hush hush-a-bye, sky.” “Hush-a-bye, eaglets. / Hush-a-bye, nest.” As the text singsongs, the full-page, double-spread illustrations show the Lake Superior shore, each page turn highlighting various animals and plants that inhabit the area as the sun slowly sets, the sky and water change color, and the family settles in to roast marshmallows. While the rhythm may be calming, it doesn’t breathe anything new into the genre. An iteration of the iconic Goodnight Moon, it lacks that story’s nuance and magic. While competent enough, the illustrations merely reflect the text rather than extending it. Overall, the story lacks sparkle, and it’s hard to see how it will appeal to readers not already familiar with the shores of Lake Superior. But by all means, take this book on a family camping trip to the shores of Lake Superior, especially for going-to-sleep reading. A brief field guide at the end of the book offer more information about the plants and animals mentioned within. One of the parents depicted is light-skinned and blond, while the other is brown-skinned and black-haired; their children are black-haired and brown-skinned. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Will appeal to readers who know and love Lake Superior. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 15, 2023

ISBN: 9781534111745

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 24, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2023

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A sweet, poetic ode to autumn.


A rhyming celebration of imagination.

A child with brown skin offers gentle, artful ideas about what to do with autumn leaves. The picture book's idyllic setting seems Northeastern in nature, with deciduous trees shedding leaves, which the child scoops up. Could a leaf from a tree become a hat, a Halloween mask, a hammock, or something else entirely? "It could be a horn that blows, announcing that we're here. // A leafy parade to celebrate our favorite time of year." Rhyme rules the text but isn't forced in the least. Collaged leaves against painted illustrations encourage play and imagination. A nod to winter and spring make this a year-round read. Endpapers with realistic labeled images of leaves provide an injection of information in this otherwise dreamy musing. The backmatter includes instructions on collaging—a meaningful and fun activity that builds upon the text. While there's nothing groundbreaking here, there is opportunity for both learning and whimsy. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A sweet, poetic ode to autumn. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: July 12, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-30659-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House Studio

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2022

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It’s a bit hard to dance, or count, to this beat.


Dinos that love to move and groove get children counting from one to 10—and perhaps moving to the beat.

Beginning with a solo bop by a female dino (she has eyelashes, doncha know), the dinosaur dance party begins. Each turn of the page adds another dino and a change in the dance genre: waltz, country line dancing, disco, limbo, square dancing, hip-hop, and swing. As the party would be incomplete without the moonwalk, the T. Rex does the honors…and once they are beyond their initial panic at his appearance, the onlookers cheer wildly. The repeated refrain on each spread allows for audience participation, though it doesn’t easily trip off the tongue: “They hear a swish. / What’s this? / One more? / One more dino on the floor.” Some of the prehistoric beasts are easily identifiable—pterodactyl, ankylosaurus, triceratops—but others will be known only to the dino-obsessed; none are identified, other than T-Rex. Packed spreads filled with psychedelically colored dinos sporting blocks of color, stripes, or polka dots (and infectious looks of joy) make identification even more difficult, to say nothing of counting them. Indeed, this fails as a counting primer: there are extra animals (and sometimes a grumpy T-Rex) in the backgrounds, and the next dino to join the party pokes its head into the frame on the page before. Besides all that, most kids won’t get the dance references.

It’s a bit hard to dance, or count, to this beat. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8075-1598-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2016

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