I DON’T WANT TO CLEAN MY ROOM

A MESS OF POEMS ABOUT CHORES

The 16 rhyming poems in this collection are aimed at preschoolers who are just learning about household chores such as folding laundry, vacuuming and making beds. Some of the poems are humorous and amiable, with action provided by a toddler leaping through the laundry or a child bouncing on a bed with starry sheets. Other poems try too earnestly to make a particular chore interesting or fun, not always successfully, and several poems in the collection either don’t scan well or have a sing-songy rhythm. Koeller’s cheerful illustrations add to the volume’s appeal, with a multiethnic cast of children and parents working together both inside the home and outdoors. She shows an equal division of tasks between males and females, with boys setting the table and cleaning up and a dad folding laundry and taking care of a toddler. Preschool teachers may find this collection useful for reinforcing basic housekeeping skills in the classroom, and parents might like to try the poems with their preschoolers as a way of focusing on the message of families working cooperatively. (Poetry. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-525-47776-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2007

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Hard-to-find numbers make this counting book one to skip.

NUMBERS EVERYWHERE

Four-line poems introduce the numbers zero to nine opposite stylized, colorful mixed-media illustrations that incorporate them.

The relevant numeral is printed clearly over each poem and worked into the pictures, with dotted blue lines to help readers find them. This device sometimes works against itself. For example, the poem headed “3” reads: “Curve out and back in— / Do it once, then repeat: / A three is red pepper / On pizza. Let’s eat!” The poem is inviting, but the red pepper 3’s on the pizza slices opposite are obscured by the dotted blue lines superimposed on them. There are also three people to count and three tuning pegs on the banjo one kid plays. Those elements of the illustration are clear enough, but locating the numeral can be hard. Most pictures share this difficulty, although some, like the two balls of the snowman representing 8, are easier to spot. (Eight children play around the snowman, and there are eight pieces of coal marking its features.) The pictures include people with varying skin tones. In acknowledgment of the difficulty of the concept, a concluding double-page spread with number shapes incorporated into the composition is followed by an identical spread with the number shapes circled for readers to confirm their guesses. The rear endpapers offer each numeral with a corresponding number of thumbnails from the appropriate earlier spread for extra practice.

Hard-to-find numbers make this counting book one to skip. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 22, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4321-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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LEO’S TREE

In a sort of prequel to The Giving Tree, Leo’s father plants a “scratchy, branchy” linden in the yard to mark Leo’s birth. Boy and tree grow through several sets of seasons, until a second tree joins the first to mark the arrival of Leo’s little sister Sophie. Gardeners will cringe to see Leo’s dad carrying Sophie’s sapling by its trunk rather than its bundled root-ball, then planting it far too close to Leo’s tree—but Hilo’s earlier scenes of toddler and growing tree together on a sunlit lawn, surrounded by flowers, birds, and plush toys, do project an engagingly idyllic air, and the pared-down text—“Rosy cheeks rosy trees / Crunchy golden linden leaves / Leo creeping / Crawling standing . . . / Leaves and Leo all fall down!”—will draw new readers. A tried-and-true theme, pleasantly iterated. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 1, 2004

ISBN: 1-55037-845-7

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Firefly

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2004

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