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Another mesmerizing outing from the sultan of seek-and-find.

Gatefolds expose sudden calamities, eye-widening surprises, and—of course—fresh cascades of small toys, charms, beads, and found bric-a-brac in 10 teeming scenes.

“See more” indeed. A version of the eponymous jointed figurine clambering through Wick’s Can You See What I See? series returns with a canine companion to topple a stack of toy-filled buckets, climb an elaborate treehouse, rocket into space aboard a paper-plate saucer, and otherwise explore the fantastically populous assemblages. The photographer’s rhymed tallies—“a robot butler, / a crayon that’s pink, / a teapot, a toaster, / and a kitchen sink”—provide only the barest start on a complete catalog. As usual, the colors pop, and every tiniest detail is distinctly visible. The visual legerdemain includes a multileveled highway interchange that switches from day to night with a lift of the side flap and a Rube Goldberg–style mechanism for launching a helium balloon (viewers are challenged to visualize how it works). Wick transforms common materials like gears and other metal junk to concoct a classic robot, and painted cardboard turns into a fully furnished, Star Wars–worthy spaceship. Following views of everything (more or less) neatly stowed on shelves at the end, Wick adds additional challenges plus construction notes on each project.

Another mesmerizing outing from the sultan of seek-and-find. (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-50216-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2015

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Having put together a band with renowned cousin Duck Ellington and singer “Bee” Holiday, Rooster’s chances sure look...

Winning actually isn’t everything, as jazz-happy Rooster learns when he goes up against the legendary likes of Mules Davis and Ella Finchgerald at the barnyard talent show.

Having put together a band with renowned cousin Duck Ellington and singer “Bee” Holiday, Rooster’s chances sure look good—particularly after his “ ‘Hen from Ipanema’ [makes] / the barnyard chickies swoon.”—but in the end the competition is just too stiff. No matter: A compliment from cool Mules and the conviction that he still has the world’s best band soon puts the strut back in his stride. Alexander’s versifying isn’t always in tune (“So, he went to see his cousin, / a pianist of great fame…”), and despite his moniker Rooster plays an electric bass in Bower’s canted country scenes. Children are unlikely to get most of the jokes liberally sprinkled through the text, of course, so the adults sharing it with them should be ready to consult the backmatter, which consists of closing notes on jazz’s instruments, history and best-known musicians.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58536-688-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Review Posted Online: July 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2011

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From the Elephant & Piggie series

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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