CAN YOU SEE SEYMOUR?

THE JUICE BOX BOAT

The creator of the I Spy series is a genius at designing and photographing tiny landscapes and kaleidoscopic dioramas. The reader immediately senses something familiar, yet new in this paper-over-board. Once again, Wick offers the same photo-scapes format of diminutive objects, but here the participant is lead through the pages by a little toy named Seymour (who appeared in the first two of the series). Also, the sets are much simpler and essential. The same home-spun do-dads appear repeatedly throughout and a lone turtle never misses a page. The text invites the reader to find certain objects on every page, like a couple of ducks or a round yellow button, all the while asking us to keep our eyes on Seymour. It soon becomes apparent that Seymour is up to something. His wagon becomes fuller as he wonders through the block maze of scattered teeny toys. A blueprint is ultimately revealed, and it’s discovered that Seymour has a master plan. He also delivers the added treat of a nifty little craft idea. This is more than a seek-and-find; it’s a charming, interactive novelty. (discussion guide) (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-439-61778-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2004

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SAY HELLO!

Today Carmelita visits her Abuela Rosa, but to get there she must walk. Down Ninth Avenue she strolls with her mother and dog. Colorful shops and congenial neighbors greet them along the way, and at each stop Carmelita says hello—in Spanish, Arabic, Hebrew and more. With a friendly “Jambo” for Joseph, a “Bonjour” at the bakery and an affectionate “Hey” for Max and Angel, the pig-tailed girl happily exercises her burgeoning multilingual skills. Her world is a vibrant community, where neighborliness, camaraderie and culture are celebrated. Isadora’s collaged artwork, reminiscent of Ezra Jack Keats, contains lovely edges and imperfections, which abet the feeling of an urban environment. Skillfully, she draws with her scissors, the cut-paper elements acting as her line work. Everything has a texture and surface, and with almost no solid colors, the city street is realized as a real, organic place. Readers will fall for the sociable Carmelita as they proudly learn a range of salutations, and the artist’s rich environment, packed with hidden details and charming animals, will delight readers with each return visit. Simply enchanting. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-399-25230-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2010

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THE GRUFFALO

The action of this rhymed and humorous tale centers upon a mouse who "took a stroll/through the deep dark wood./A fox saw the mouse/and the mouse looked good." The mouse escapes being eaten by telling the fox that he is on his way to meet his friend the gruffalo (a monster of his imagination), whose favorite food is roasted fox. The fox beats a hasty retreat. Similar escapes are in store for an owl and a snake; both hightail it when they learn the particulars: tusks, claws, terrible jaws, eyes orange, tongue black, purple prickles on its back. When the gruffalo suddenly materializes out of the mouse's head and into the forest, the mouse has to think quick, declaring himself inedible as the "scariest creature in the deep dark wood," and inviting the gruffalo to follow him to witness the effect he has on the other creatures. When the gruffalo hears that the mouse's favorite food is gruffalo crumble, he runs away. It's a fairly innocuous tale, with twists that aren't sharp enough and treachery that has no punch. Scheffler's funny scenes prevent the suspense from culminating; all his creatures, predator and prey, are downright lovable. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8037-2386-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1999

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