Young kids who don’t already appreciate rain may change their minds after experiencing this small picture book that exuberantly pours on, in verse, the watery delights of a rainy day in April. Yee’s impressionistic paintings and the subtle nature lessons are as gentle and soft as a spring shower. Youngsters will enjoy the onomatopoetic sounds of the rainfall and have fun answering the riddles posed here, too. Who likes rain? Why, a host of creatures, though Yee reminds us that cats, dogs and even “Papa’s old truck” can well do without it. Of course, at the end, if children won’t have already caught on, it seems as if it’s the little girl herein who likes rain the most—with or without her bright raingear. Sweet. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-8050-7734-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2007

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For readers who haven’t a musk ox of their own to snuggle up with, this tale proves just as cozy.


An agreeable Alaskan musk ox embodies that old Ben Franklin adage, “Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.”

When Cozy the ox is separated from his herd in the midst of a winter storm, he decides to wait it out. His massive size and warmth attract small animals—a lemming family and a snowshoe hare—desperate to escape the cold. However, as bigger, predatory creatures arrive, Cozy must lay down some “house rules” that grow with each new creature that arrives until they extend to: “Quiet voices, gentle thumping, claws to yourself, no biting, no pouncing, and be mindful of others!” Over time, the guests grow antsy, but at last spring arrives and Cozy can find his family. The tale is not dissimilar to another Jan Brett tale of cold weather and animals squeezing into a small space (The Mitten, 1989). Meticulous watercolors refrain from anthropomorphizing, rendering everyone, from massive Cozy to the tiniest of lemmings, in exquisite detail. This moving tale of gentle kindness serves as a clarion call for anyone searching for a book about creating your own community in times of trial. Brett even includes little details about real musk oxen in the text (such as their tendency to form protective circles to surround their vulnerable young), but readers hoping for further information in any backmatter will be disappointed. (This book was reviewed digitally with 8.4-by-20.6-inch double-page spreads viewed at 37.3% of actual size.)

For readers who haven’t a musk ox of their own to snuggle up with, this tale proves just as cozy. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-10979-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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Pick this delightful story for a Christmas storytime, for library collections, or for family reading around the Christmas...


A family of four buys a cut pine tree, takes it home, and, with the help of friends, decorates it for their Christmas tree.

The family drives to a tree lot, selects a tree, and takes it home on top of their car. The mother, the father, and their two children set up the tree, with the mother using a saw to trim the tree trunk. Boxes of decorations are brought in, and then friends arrive for a decorating party. When all the decorations are in place, the page turn reveals the completed tree in all its glory. That illustration is printed in landscape format across the double-page spread, so the book must be rotated 90 degrees to emphasize the tree’s height, a clever and surprising feature. The family’s interracial, with a white dad and black-haired, brown-skinned mom. Other characters at the tree lot and the party include people of different ethnicities. The short, rhyming text has a bouncy, appealing tone, with four brief lines of text per page. Delightful mixed-media illustrations use a flattened perspective, simple shapes, and glowing, light-filled backgrounds for a fresh take on the tree-decorating tradition. The illustrations are all in double-page-spread format with compositions that will work well for reading to a group or with just one child in a lap.

Pick this delightful story for a Christmas storytime, for library collections, or for family reading around the Christmas tree. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9571-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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