These fruits do not make a large enough splash in the pool; for the best fruit in the basket, check out the old favorite,...

FRUITS IN SUITS

Chapman (Vegetables in Underwear, 2015) is back with digital illustrations featuring anthropomorphic fruits.

The front endpapers identify each fruit by name (pineapple, grapefruit, cherry, apple, etc.) as it stands fully clothed, looking uncomfortable, especially a squalling baby pomegranate; the rear endpapers show the same fruits looking comfortable and happy in their swimsuits. Most of the vividly colored fruits shown are common and familiar, and most of them are wearing swimsuits (both the boy and girl kind), but although the all-caps text points out that “there are all kinds of suits,” it does not identify any of them by name, just by style or function. Oddly, there is not any mention of the word “swimsuit.” The cheerful strawberry narrator, wearing a red-and-green polka-dot swimsuit, explains to the grapefruit wearing a business suit that “If you want to go swimming you need a suit.” Although the picture of the baby pomegranate swimming in her “birthday suit” will elicit some giggles, kids may find it difficult to differentiate between a suit “for sunbathing” and a suit “for the shade” (for the shade?), a suit “for scuba” and a suit “for surfing” when worn by a brightly colored cartoon fruit with stick arms and legs.

These fruits do not make a large enough splash in the pool; for the best fruit in the basket, check out the old favorite, Sexton Freymann and Joost Elffers’ How Are You Peeling? (2004). (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 11, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2298-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Abrams Appleseed

Review Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2017

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PIRATES DON'T TAKE BATHS

Echoes of Runaway Bunny color this exchange between a bath-averse piglet and his patient mother. Using a strategy that would probably be a nonstarter in real life, the mother deflects her stubborn offspring’s string of bath-free occupational conceits with appeals to reason: “Pirates NEVER EVER take baths!” “Pirates don’t get seasick either. But you do.” “Yeesh. I’m an astronaut, okay?” “Well, it is hard to bathe in zero gravity. It’s hard to poop and pee in zero gravity too!” And so on, until Mom’s enticing promise of treasure in the deep sea persuades her little Treasure Hunter to take a dive. Chunky figures surrounded by lots of bright white space in Segal’s minimally detailed watercolors keep the visuals as simple as the plotline. The language isn’t quite as basic, though, and as it rendered entirely in dialogue—Mother Pig’s lines are italicized—adult readers will have to work hard at their vocal characterizations for it to make any sense. Moreover, younger audiences (any audiences, come to that) may wonder what the piggy’s watery closing “EUREKA!!!” is all about too. Not particularly persuasive, but this might coax a few young porkers to get their trotters into the tub. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25425-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2011

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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

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