LOLA SHAPES THE SKY

Clouds in the sky work to make weather through shade, rain, and snow, but one special cloud named Lola turns herself into incredible, creative, artful figures.

Thor, a large, godlike, domineering male cloud, chastises Lola for her playfulness, telling her “Clouds make weather, not shapes,” and howling “You’re the worst cloud ever!” Lola refuses to be intimidated or dissuaded by the overbearing voice of Thor and continues to display her personality through her fabulous shapes. “I may not be a weather-maker!” she declares, “but I can be ferocious…humorous…gorgeous.” For people on the ground Lola’s creations are remarkably lifelike, resembling in turn a roaring lion, a juggling penguin, and a beautiful girl. Despite Thor’s disapproval, the other clouds are inspired and learn to fluff and puff themselves into shapes with Lola, while Thor eventually relents: “Bravo, Lola!…You are one of a kind.” Lush digital illustrations place pastoral scenes in the foreground with (mostly) sky-blue hues in the background, accentuated by the downy, frothy whites of the various cloud characters. Lola’s attitude inspires confidence in one’s imaginative abilities to pursue life’s aspirations. Though not a new idea, this rendition is lovely and will couple well with Charles Shaw’s classic, It Looked Like Spilt Milk (1947). A brief addendum on the different types of clouds and their significance is included.

An airy idyll. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-56846-319-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Creative Editions/Creative Company

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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As ephemeral as a valentine.

LOVE FROM THE CRAYONS

Daywalt and Jeffers’ wandering crayons explore love.

Each double-page spread offers readers a vision of one of the anthropomorphic crayons on the left along with the statement “Love is [color].” The word love is represented by a small heart in the appropriate color. Opposite, childlike crayon drawings explain how that color represents love. So, readers learn, “love is green. / Because love is helpful.” The accompanying crayon drawing depicts two alligators, one holding a recycling bin and the other tossing a plastic cup into it, offering readers two ways of understanding green. Some statements are thought-provoking: “Love is white. / Because sometimes love is hard to see,” reaches beyond the immediate image of a cat’s yellow eyes, pink nose, and black mouth and whiskers, its white face and body indistinguishable from the paper it’s drawn on, to prompt real questions. “Love is brown. / Because sometimes love stinks,” on the other hand, depicted by a brown bear standing next to a brown, squiggly turd, may provoke giggles but is fundamentally a cheap laugh. Some of the color assignments have a distinctly arbitrary feel: Why is purple associated with the imagination and pink with silliness? Fans of The Day the Crayons Quit (2013) hoping for more clever, metaliterary fun will be disappointed by this rather syrupy read.

As ephemeral as a valentine. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-9268-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2021

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Earnest and silly by turns, it doesn’t quite capture the attention or the imagination, although surely its heart is in the...

ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER

Rhymed couplets convey the story of a girl who likes to build things but is shy about it. Neither the poetry nor Rosie’s projects always work well.

Rosie picks up trash and oddments where she finds them, stashing them in her attic room to work on at night. Once, she made a hat for her favorite zookeeper uncle to keep pythons away, and he laughed so hard that she never made anything publicly again. But when her great-great-aunt Rose comes to visit and reminds Rosie of her own past building airplanes, she expresses her regret that she still has not had the chance to fly. Great-great-aunt Rose is visibly modeled on Rosie the Riveter, the iconic, red-bandanna–wearing poster woman from World War II. Rosie decides to build a flying machine and does so (it’s a heli-o-cheese-copter), but it fails. She’s just about to swear off making stuff forever when Aunt Rose congratulates her on her failure; now she can go on to try again. Rosie wears her hair swooped over one eye (just like great-great-aunt Rose), and other figures have exaggerated hairdos, tiny feet and elongated or greatly rounded bodies. The detritus of Rosie’s collections is fascinating, from broken dolls and stuffed animals to nails, tools, pencils, old lamps and possibly an erector set. And cheddar-cheese spray.

Earnest and silly by turns, it doesn’t quite capture the attention or the imagination, although surely its heart is in the right place. (historical note) (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0845-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2013

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