SPLIT! SPLAT!

Gibson’s second outing (Around the World on Eighty Legs, illustrated by Daniel Salmieri, 2011) is an onomatopoetic praise song to rain and mud.

With a gentle spring rain falling outside, a little girl and her dog (and the mouse in their house) head out for an afternoon of messy wet fun, joining a couple of neighbors who are already frolicking. Togged out in rain jackets and boots and carrying umbrellas, the trio soon discards all to fully enjoy the experience. Jumping in puddles quickly turns to squishing mud between bare toes and, finally, to a watery mudslide involving their entire bodies. No doubt readers will relate to the fun depicted in the pictures, but it is Gibson’s language play that makes this such a grand read-aloud: “Splish / sploosh, / squash / squoosh, // oochy sploochy woochy woosh!” Björkman uses a spring palette in watercolors that are filled with splashes, splooshes and lots of splatters and smiles. But his characters look older than they should be for this type of rainy day fun…especially considering the wet and tremendously muddy trail the girl leaves from the front door to the bathtub. Still, the antics of the two dogs and the adorable mouse that mimics the children’s cavorting are sure to keep kids’ attention.

Good sloshy fun. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-439-58753-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2012

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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

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Instills a sense of well-being in youngsters while encouraging them to explore the natural world.

YOU ARE HOME WITH ME

This reassuring picture book exemplifies how parents throughout the animal kingdom make homes for their offspring.

The narrative is written from the point of view of a parent talking to their child: “If you were a beaver, I would gnaw on trees with my teeth to build a cozy lodge for us to sleep in during the day.” Text appears in big, easy-to-read type, with the name of the creature in boldface. Additional facts about the animal appear in a smaller font, such as: “Beavers have transparent eyelids to help them see under water.” The gathering of land, air, and water animals includes a raven, a flying squirrel, and a sea lion. “Home” might be a nest, a den, or a burrow. One example, of a blue whale who has homes in the north and south (ocean is implied), will help children stretch the concept into feeling at home in the larger world. Illustrations of the habitats have an inviting luminosity. Mature and baby animals are realistically depicted, although facial features appear to have been somewhat softened, perhaps to appeal to young readers. The book ends with the comforting scene of a human parent and child silhouetted in the welcoming lights of the house they approach: “Wherever you may be, you will always have a home with me.”

Instills a sense of well-being in youngsters while encouraging them to explore the natural world. (Informational picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-63217-224-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little Bigfoot/Sasquatch

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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