Be ready for some rousing read-alouds! (Picture book. 4-7)

BOING!

A VERY NOISY ABC

It’s another noisy alphabet romp.

Flat, digitally composed characters and scenarios generate noises for each letter of the alphabet. As the noisy narrative begins, readers will need to look carefully. The initial spread shows a peaceful interior, with a grandfather-type figure with a white mustache watering a houseplant, a child bouncing a ball, and a cat snoozing. In the next spread, the grandfather-type sneezes (“Ah…Ah…Ah…Ah-choo!”), startling the child, who loses control of the ball, which bounces out the window (“BIFF! BOP! BOOM! BOING!”), and the chase is on. “FLIP…FLOP…FLUMP”: A blue bulldog enters the scene chasing the ball and then grabbing it, leading the pursuing child and grandfather past the ice cream cart (“KA-CHING!” goes its till as the duo buy cones), through the park, into a duck pond (“Quack?”), and finally back home, where the child—Xavier—is welcomed warmly. But even as Xavier falls asleep, the grandfather seems to be beginning another sneeze….Aside from Xavier’s name, the only text is onomatopoeia, either the sounds of objects or nonverbal vocalizations such as sighs and grunts. The flow from spread to spread is clever, fluid, and active, with much to point and giggle at. The grandfather figure and the person who welcomes Xavier back home both have light-brown skin, while Xavier is pale.

Be ready for some rousing read-alouds! (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 21, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4814-8755-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Between its autumn and field-trip themes and the fact that not many books start countdowns from 20, this may find its way to...

PUMPKIN COUNTDOWN

A class visits the pumpkin patch, giving readers a chance to count down from 20.

At the farm, Farmer Mixenmatch gives them the tour, which includes a petting zoo, an educational area, a corn maze and a tractor ride to the pumpkin patch. Holub’s text cleverly though not always successfully rhymes each child’s name within the line: “ ‘Eighteen kids get on our bus,’ says Russ. / ‘But someone’s late,’ says Kate. / ‘Wait for me!’ calls Kiri.” Pumpkins at the tops of pages contain the numerals that match the text, allowing readers to pair them with the orange-colored, spelled-out numbers. Some of the objects proffered to count are a bit of a stretch—“Guess sixteen things we’ll see,” count 14 cars that arrived at the farm before the bus—but Smith’s artwork keeps things easy to count, except for a challenging page that asks readers to search for 17 orange items (answers are at the bottom, upside down). Strangely, Holub includes one page with nothing to count—a sign marks “15 Pumpkin Street.” Charming, multicultural round-faced characters and lots of detail encourage readers to go back through the book scouring pages for the 16 things the kids guessed they might see. Endpapers featuring a smattering of pumpkin facts round out the text.

Between its autumn and field-trip themes and the fact that not many books start countdowns from 20, this may find its way to many library shelves. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: July 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8075-6660-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: May 16, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A mind-stretching outlook that may help youngsters with change—and will certainly cause them to think.

THE END IS JUST THE BEGINNING

A cyclical take on life.

Endings can sometimes feel sad or heavy in their finality. But Bender reverses this perspective. In fact, the story starts, as a tiny caterpillar tells readers, with “THE END.” A young tot on a bed closing a book looks puzzled. Bender acknowledges the absurdity. “But wait—how can a book possibly start with the end? That’s ridiculous.” It’s not, once you change your frame of reference. Continuing in a conversational tone, Bender gives examples. Some are personal and immediate: “The end of a disagreement with someone … / is just the beginning of making up.” Others are more abstract: “When you count, the end of one number is just the beginning of the next number… / and so on and so on and so on, all the way to infinity, which, by the way, NEVER ends!” Two friends or perhaps siblings (one with brown skin and brown hair in two Afro puffs, the other with pale skin and straight, black hair) act out the scenarios, which are strung together over the course of a day from one morning to the next. Mayo’s illustrations also dance between concrete and abstract, illustrating disagreement with one kid scowling, sitting back to the other, who looks distressed, next to a ruined sand castle and infinity with an image of the two kids cycling along an enormous infinity sign. In a meta-infused closing, Bender concludes with “THE BEGINNING / (of discovering the next book).” A cleverly placed butterfly flits away. The hazy wash over muted tones gives a warm, cozy embrace to the message. (This book was reviewed digitally with 9-by-18-inch double-page spreads viewed at 48.2% of actual size.)

A mind-stretching outlook that may help youngsters with change—and will certainly cause them to think. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 20, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-984896-93-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more