The combination of a simple but satisfying plot and vibrant art adds up to a story that succeeds on several levels. Yes, we...

READ REVIEW

CAN YOU FIND PUP?

From the I Like To Read series

In this amusing early reader, a young left-handed artist ignores his talented poodle until Pup runs away to join the circus.

The little boy, Tate, wears a black beret and a jaunty, red scarf as he creates pencil sketches of his cats, flowers and insects in his garden, and clowns at the circus. Pup makes desperate bids for Tate’s attention, painting his own fur with tubes of paint, swinging from a tree branch, and juggling balls for the clowns. When Pup follows the clowns and joins the circus, Tate is sad at the loss of his pet. He posts 10 colored-pencil portraits of Pup outside the circus tent, leading to a happy reunion of boy and dog. The story’s clever construction has a brightly colored illustration of Tate busily sketching on one double-page spread followed by a spread displaying Tate’s large, black-and-white drawing that includes 10 similar items in a busy seek-and-find design. The minimal text works well as an early reader, but this clever story will also be a fine choice for preschoolers who are learning to count to 10, and it even teaches a little about different art methods. Lively illustrations in watercolor and ink are filled with tiny details and funny expressions for Tate and Pup and their feline friends. All the human characters, including the clowns, present white.

The combination of a simple but satisfying plot and vibrant art adds up to a story that succeeds on several levels. Yes, we can find Pup! And we’d like to see him (and Tate) again. (Early reader/picture book. 2-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3940-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more