A story with a good ecological message and vibrant paintings that falls short by omitting context.


In this latest picture-book series entry, Lapid (Mother’s Day With Snowman Paul, 2018, etc.) offers strong couplets about a girl and a tree saving each other, and returning illustrator Pasek highlights the bright colors of its tropical setting.

A small tawari sapling is threatened by bulldozers and fires that are clearing the forest. Yara, a young Indigenous girl, comes to its rescue. The sapling grows quickly to become a tree that Yara (who appears to still be the same age) can climb. One day, when Yara becomes very ill, her mother brings an elder to their home to make a diagnosis. The elder laments that there once was a tree that could provide her with a remedy, but it may now be extinct. Savvy readers will be unsurprised that Yara’s tawari tree is the very one that she needs to cure her sickness, thus repaying her kindness. Lapid’s message—that humans need the rainforest as much as the rainforest needs them to save it—comes through clearly in Yara and the tree’s personal connection. Unfortunately, with no author’s note and an unnamed setting, it’s hard to gauge the authenticity of Pasek’s apparently Amazon-inspired images or Lapid’s cultural descriptions.

A story with a good ecological message and vibrant paintings that falls short by omitting context.

Pub Date: July 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-9973899-5-1

Page Count: 38

Publisher: Time Tunnel Media

Review Posted Online: May 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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An excellent, rounded effort from a creator who knows how to deliver.


The farmyard's chickens experience Halloween.

A round, full moon shines in the sky, and the chickens of Boynton's barnyard are feeling “nervous.” Pumpkins shine “with flickering eyes,” witches and wizards wander the pastures, and one chicken has seen “a mouse of enormous size.” It’s Halloween night, and readers will delight as the chickens huddle together and try to figure out what's going on. All ends well, of course, and in Boynton's trademark silly style. (It’s really quite remarkable how her ranks of white, yellow-beaked chickens evoke rows of candy corn.) At this point parents and children know what they're in for when they pick up a book by the prolific author, and she doesn't disappoint here. The chickens are silly, the pigs are cute, and the coloring and illustrations evoke a warmth that little ones wary of Halloween will appreciate. For children leery of the ghouls and goblins lurking in the holiday's iconography, this is a perfect antidote, emphasizing all the fun Halloween has to offer.

An excellent, rounded effort from a creator who knows how to deliver. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 23, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7611-9300-5

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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From the Llama Llama series

In this board book designed for the littlest llama lovers, adorable-as-ever Llama Llama (Llama Llama Red Pajama, 2005, etc.) gets ready for some Halloween fun.

Dewdney’s characteristic spare, apt rhymes convey a lot of action in effortlessly readable fashion. A charming and simple introduction to Halloween and its associated activities, this title finds little Llama Llama choosing and carving a pumpkin, pouring candy into bowls, picking out a costume and, finally, trick-or-treating. The costume Llama Llama decides to don—pointy teeth and a black mask and cape—is enough to frighten and fool his friends but not readers, who will immediately recognize and smile at the silly little mini-Dracula. With Dewdney’s characters as expressive as ever, young readers will be drawn right into the holiday fun, eagerly anticipating which costume Llama Llama will choose and excited to see him scare his friends and score some candy at trick-or-treat. In the equally appealing companion title, Llama Llama Jingle Bells,the little fellow gets ready for Christmas, baking and decorating some cookies in anticipation of Santa’s arrival. This simple holiday title will win Llama Llama new fans, and old friends will want to add it and its companion to their collections. (Board book. 1-2)


Pub Date: Aug. 19, 2014

ISBN: 978-0451469786

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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