This mashup of the ordinary and the far-out, of a little neighborhood and a giant, glowing orb from outer space, thrills.

MOONDAY

The moon follows a girl home, takes up residence in her yard and stays put—keeping the sun from rising and the town stuck in a drowsy stupor. Enchanting language and a jaw-dropping premise place readers under a similar somnolent spell.

Gentle rhymes, recurring consonance and almost subliminal rhythms make murky, dreamy paintings vivid and the surreal story sleepily spectacular. Who wouldn’t close their eyes and rock to these soothing lines, as startlingly brilliant as moonlight? “That was when the tide came in. / It trickled in to our backyard. The tide came in, smooth and thin, / and settled underneath our moon.” Their moon, cratered, full and luminous, hovers low just off the back porch; the girl walks its circumference and asks from upside down, “What now?” When teachers nod off and punk bands sing lullabies, the moon’s family decides to drive back up the mountain, where they first picked up their round friend, in the hope it will follow. Children familiar with soporific car trips will appreciate these commonplace scenes that frame such a fantastical story. Straightforward illustrations and traditional sepia, aerial renderings of the town make this fantastical lunar story all the more wondrous.

This mashup of the ordinary and the far-out, of a little neighborhood and a giant, glowing orb from outer space, thrills. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4231-1920-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: June 15, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A TREE IS NICE

A nursery school approach to a general concept. "A tree is nice"- Why? Because..."We can climb the tree...play pirate ship...pick the apples...build playhouses out of the leaves. A tree is nice to hang a swing in...Birds build nests in trees... Sticks come off trees...People have picnics there too"...etc. etc. One follows the give and take of a shared succession of reactions to what a tree- or trees- can mean. There is a kind of poetic simplicity that is innate in small children. Marc Simont has made the pictures, half in full color, and they too have a childlike directness (with an underlying sophistication that adults will recognize). Not a book for everyone -but those who like it will like it immensely. The format (6 x 11) makes it a difficult book for shelving, so put it in the "clean hands" section of flat books. Here's your first book for Arbor Day use- a good spring and summer item.

Pub Date: June 15, 1956

ISBN: 978-0-06-443147-7

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Harper

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1956

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A good choice to share with wriggly listeners, who will soon be joining in.

AT THE OLD HAUNTED HOUSE

A Halloween book that rides on the rhythms of “Over in the Meadow.”

Although Halloween rhyming counting books abound, this stands out, with a text that begs to be read aloud and cartoony digital illustrations that add goofy appeal. A girl and two boys set off on Halloween night to go trick-or-treating. As the children leave the cozy, warm glow of their street, readers see a haunted house on a hill, with gravestones dotting the front yard. Climbing the twisty path to the dark estate takes time, so the story turns to the antics inside the house. “At the old haunted house in a room with no sun / lived a warty green witch and her wee witch one. ‘SPELL!’ cried the witch. ‘POOF!’ cried the one. / And they both practiced spells in the room with no sun.” The actions of the scary creatures within may seem odd, but the rhyme must go on: Cats scratch, goblins dust, monsters stir, and mummies mix. Eventually the three kids reach the front door and are invited in for stew, cake and brew. At first shocked by the gruesome fare, the children recover quickly and get caught up in partying with the slightly spooky but friendly menagerie.

A good choice to share with wriggly listeners, who will soon be joining in. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4778-4769-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more