A buoyant welcome to the season

HOCUS POCUS, IT'S FALL!

Using the same pattern and format as their Abracadabra, It’s Spring! (2016), O’Brien and Gal return to celebrate autumn.

“Summer days begin to cool. / Alakazam! // It’s time for school.” Two children, a brown child with fabulous, kinky hair and a white child with red pigtails, carry inner tubes up from the dock and wave to a younger white child sitting on a swing under a tree with leaves turning to red; when the gatefold’s opened, both are lined up to board the school bus along with other kids, including a brown child in a wheelchair. Milkweed pods dry and burst; Canada geese begin their migration; green leaves turn brilliant scarlet and then fall to the ground; squirrels gather nuts while children gather apples and pumpkins; chipmunks curl up in their burrows while children put on their hats and sweaters. The whole joyous celebration culminates in a hayride with the happy group of multiracial children seen on previous pages all piled in. As in the previous book, O’Brien’s rhymes and rhythms stick every landing; also as in the previous book, it stutters sequentially at one point, returning readers to a mostly green landscape after showing several images dominated by rusts and ochers. Gal’s smudgy illustrations, a technology-spanning combination of charcoal on paper and digital collage, glory in the golds, crimsons, and russets of fall, adding contrasting blues and greens for extra pop.

A buoyant welcome to the season . (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 16, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2125-0

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Abrams Appleseed

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

It’s a bit hard to dance, or count, to this beat.

ONE MORE DINO ON THE FLOOR

Dinos that love to move and groove get children counting from one to 10—and perhaps moving to the beat.

Beginning with a solo bop by a female dino (she has eyelashes, doncha know), the dinosaur dance party begins. Each turn of the page adds another dino and a change in the dance genre: waltz, country line dancing, disco, limbo, square dancing, hip-hop, and swing. As the party would be incomplete without the moonwalk, the T. Rex does the honors…and once they are beyond their initial panic at his appearance, the onlookers cheer wildly. The repeated refrain on each spread allows for audience participation, though it doesn’t easily trip off the tongue: “They hear a swish. / What’s this? / One more? / One more dino on the floor.” Some of the prehistoric beasts are easily identifiable—pterodactyl, ankylosaurus, triceratops—but others will be known only to the dino-obsessed; none are identified, other than T-Rex. Packed spreads filled with psychedelically colored dinos sporting blocks of color, stripes, or polka dots (and infectious looks of joy) make identification even more difficult, to say nothing of counting them. Indeed, this fails as a counting primer: there are extra animals (and sometimes a grumpy T-Rex) in the backgrounds, and the next dino to join the party pokes its head into the frame on the page before. Besides all that, most kids won’t get the dance references.

It’s a bit hard to dance, or count, to this beat. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8075-1598-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more