Whether children are listening in a group or as individuals at home, they will enjoy this book, but the science learning is...

THE HOME BUILDERS

What will young readers encounter in the peaceful landscape of this picture book?

Lush, full-bleed double-page spreads in a predominantly blue, green, and brown palette, executed in a soft mix of media that includes acrylics, colored pencils, and collage, accompany simple poetic text with an abcb rhyme scheme. The words are quiet, meant to convey safety and security. Many of the titular “home builders” appear in the first spread: Tortoises inch along a path, red foxes peek out from hiding, a deer grazes in the background, beavers cavort in the water, a great horned owl snoozes in a tree. The rest—moles, honeybees, and eagles—arrive after the page turn. Bajaj structures her book with questions. “Do you see the homes?” The answer is simple: “Beds in leaf piles, / Dens snug and warm, // Lodges on ponds, / Shelter from storms. // Burrows with rooms, / Beehives and nests, / Each of these homes / Soon will be blessed.” (Some may wonder at the word “blessed,” but it seems to owe its use more to the rhyme scheme than underlying religiosity.) Babies arrive and, satisfyingly, learn to “work and play.” Throughout, Mulazzani prioritizes intimacy over accurate scale or reproduction of animal architecture, offering lovely but sometimes confusing compositions.

Whether children are listening in a group or as individuals at home, they will enjoy this book, but the science learning is limited. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-399-16685-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Willems’ formula is still a winner.

THE PIGEON NEEDS A BATH!

From the Pigeon series

The pigeon is back, and he is filthy!

Readers haven’t seen the pigeon for a couple of years, not since The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? (2012), and apparently he hasn’t bathed in all that time. Per the usual routine, the bus driver (clad in shower cap and bathrobe) opens the story by asking readers to help convince the pigeon to take a bath. Though he’s covered in grime, the obstreperous bird predictably resists. He glares at readers and suggests that maybe they need baths. With the turn of the page, Willems anticipates readers’ energetic denials: The pigeon demands, “YEAH! When was the last time YOU had a bath?!” Another beat allows children to supply the answer. “Oh.” A trio of flies that find him repulsive (“P.U.!”) convinces him it’s time. One spread with 29 separate panels depicts the pigeon adjusting the bath (“Too wet!…Too cold.…Too reflective”) before the page turn reveals him jumping in with a spread-filling “SPLASH!” Readers accustomed to the pigeon formula will note that here the story breaks from its normal rhythms; instead of throwing a tantrum, the pigeon discovers what readers already know: “This is FUN!” All the elements are in place, including page backgrounds that modulate from dirty browns to fresh, clean colors and endpapers that bookend the story (including a very funny turnabout for the duckling, here a rubber bath toy).

Willems’ formula is still a winner. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9087-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Uplifting and inspiring of further research.

SEÑORITA MARIPOSA

A bilingual love poem of admiration and respect for the millions of monarch butterflies that journey south to Mexico every year.

From a chrysalis on the title page, Señorita Mariposa invites readers to follow the monarch butterfly as it embarks on a journey spanning thousands of miles, “Over mountains capped with snow… / To the deserts down below.” In the same manner, the monarch butterfly exiting the chrysalis at the end of the book then invites readers to flip back to the beginning and restart the journey. Almada Rivero’s warm and friendly illustrations showcase the various people and animals the monarch encounters in its 3,000-mile journey, including a couple of brown-skinned children who welcome Señorita Mariposa to Mexico as the text reads, “Can’t believe how far you’ve come.” Gundersheimer’s recounting of the lepidoptera’s journey is told in a bilingual poem, English set in a serif type and Spanish set in sans-serif. Like the butterfly traveling south and north, the languages switch prominence, displaying in the larger font the principal—and rhyming—language in each spread. Although at times distracting, this technique is a valiant attempt to give equal importance to each language. Backmatter includes facts on the round trip the butterflies undertake, the “super generation” that makes the trek south, and a call to action to protect the monarchs as they slowly lose their habitats.

Uplifting and inspiring of further research. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-4070-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more