The parts of speech are devilish to explain to young children, and this volume does little to clear up any confusion.

WORDPLAY

The five most common parts of speech (noun, verb, adjective, adverb, and interjection) frolic on the playground for a day of grammar exploration.

Red Verb starts things off, climbing, sliding, and twirling. Next, blue Noun appears. Noun becomes a person (King Tut), a place (an amusement park or perhaps just a roller coaster), or thing (a menacing dinosaur), though why Noun keeps transforming is not clear. Interjection, Adjective, and Adverb act as peanut gallery. Verb reacts aggressively to Noun, though why their relationship seems to be fraught is never explained nor understood. Once a bee enters the scene, Verb springs into action, first running and hiding, then helping Noun, who is stuck (why this is so is also never made clear). Soon Noun becomes the best thing a noun can ever be: a friend. Fully saturated digital illustrations brimming with energy and excitement are certain to make young readers smile at the antics of all the characters, even if it is not always exactly clear what they are up to. The characters’ T-shirts are labeled with their initials, but even that is a bit fuzzy. The orange child is labeled ADV and the chartreuse one sports an ADJ shirt, but both are actually nouns talking about being adverbs and adjectives.

The parts of speech are devilish to explain to young children, and this volume does little to clear up any confusion. (Picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: July 25, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-545-93428-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2017

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An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way.

NOAH CHASES THE WIND

A young boy sees things a little differently than others.

Noah can see patterns in the dust when it sparkles in the sunlight. And if he puts his nose to the ground, he can smell the “green tang of the ants in the grass.” His most favorite thing of all, however, is to read. Noah has endless curiosity about how and why things work. Books open the door to those answers. But there is one question the books do not explain. When the wind comes whistling by, where does it go? Noah decides to find out. In a chase that has a slight element of danger—wind, after all, is unpredictable—Noah runs down streets, across bridges, near a highway, until the wind lifts him off his feet. Cowman’s gusty wisps show each stream of air turning a different jewel tone, swirling all around. The ribbons gently bring Noah home, setting him down under the same thinking tree where he began. Did it really happen? Worthington’s sensitive exploration leaves readers with their own set of questions and perhaps gratitude for all types of perspective. An author’s note mentions children on the autism spectrum but widens to include all who feel a little different.

An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60554-356-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Redleaf Lane

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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A culturally intricate slice of a lupine courier’s life.

¡VAMOS! LET'S GO TO THE MARKET

From the ¡Vamos! series

Little Lobo and his dog, Bernabé, journey through a Mexican mercado delivering diverse goods to a variety of booths.

With the aid of red words splattered throughout the spreads as labels, Raúl the Third gives an introduction to Spanish vocabulary as Little Lobo, an anthropomorphic wolf, leaves his house, fills his cart with objects from his warehouse, and delivers them to the market’s vendors. The journey also serves as a crash course in Mexican culture, as the images are packed with intertextual details such as food, traditional games, and characters, including Cantinflas, Frida Khalo, and Juan Gabriel. Readers acquainted with Raúl the Third’s characters from his Lowriders series with author Cathy Camper will appreciate cameos from familiar characters. As he makes his rounds, Little Lobo also collects different artifacts that people offer in exchange for his deliveries of shoe polish, clothespins, wood, tissue paper, paintbrushes, and a pair of golden laces. Although Raúl the Third departs from the ball-pen illustrations that he is known for, his depiction of creatures and critters peppering the borderland where his stories are set remains in his trademark style. The softer hues in the illustrations (chosen by colorist Bay) keep the busy compositions friendly, and the halftone patterns filling the illustrations create foregrounds and backgrounds reminiscent of Roy Lichtenstein’s pointillism.

A culturally intricate slice of a lupine courier’s life. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-55726-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Versify/HMH

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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