``I don't like GIANTS,'' reports a small quivering kitten, but Mama Meow reassures her child that this particular giant is their kindly owner, Auntie B. The narrator also dislikes crocodiles (``Auntie B.'s shoes'') and the dark forest that is really the four hairy legs of Auntie B.'s dog, Scratchpooch. When the kitten mistakes the dog's nose for an ``eensie-weensie'' spider and takes a swing at Scratchpooch, ``Kapow!'' and this scaredy cat is transformed into Tiger Cat: ``WOW!/are eensie-weensie spiders/scared of me!'' The upbeat message—that courage may be only a matter of perspective—lights up a cheerful comedy from Rankin (The Little Cat and the Greedy Old Woman, 1995), who shows Tiger, in the last scene, going nose-to-nose with a huge neighborhood dog. This lesson in assertiveness—hardly clouded by the notion that a good swat is the answer to fear—gives preschoolers a congenial view of the things that frighten the kitten in gleefully expressive illustrations; adults may gain a new sense of just how big and forbidding the world can appear to the very young. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-689-80948-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1996

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A young boy wonders aloud to a rabbit friend what he will be when he grows up and imagines some outrageous choices. “Puddle stomper,” “bubble gum popper,” “mixing-bowl licker,” “baby-sis soother” are just some of the 24 inspiringly creative vocations Spinelli’s young dreamer envisions in this pithy rhymed account. Aided by Liao’s cleverly integrated full-bleed mixed-media illustrations, which radiate every hue of the rainbow, and dynamic typesetting with words that swoop and dive, the author’s perspective on this adult-inspired question yields some refreshingly child-oriented answers. Given such an irresistible array of options—“So many jobs! / They’re all such fun”—the boy in the end decides, in an exuberant double gatefold, “I’m going to choose… / EVERY ONE!”—a conclusion befitting a generation expected to have more than six careers each. Without parents or peers around to corral this carefree child’s dreams, the possibilities of being whatever one wants appear both limitless and attainable. An inspired take on a timeless question. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-316-16226-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

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Today Carmelita visits her Abuela Rosa, but to get there she must walk. Down Ninth Avenue she strolls with her mother and dog. Colorful shops and congenial neighbors greet them along the way, and at each stop Carmelita says hello—in Spanish, Arabic, Hebrew and more. With a friendly “Jambo” for Joseph, a “Bonjour” at the bakery and an affectionate “Hey” for Max and Angel, the pig-tailed girl happily exercises her burgeoning multilingual skills. Her world is a vibrant community, where neighborliness, camaraderie and culture are celebrated. Isadora’s collaged artwork, reminiscent of Ezra Jack Keats, contains lovely edges and imperfections, which abet the feeling of an urban environment. Skillfully, she draws with her scissors, the cut-paper elements acting as her line work. Everything has a texture and surface, and with almost no solid colors, the city street is realized as a real, organic place. Readers will fall for the sociable Carmelita as they proudly learn a range of salutations, and the artist’s rich environment, packed with hidden details and charming animals, will delight readers with each return visit. Simply enchanting. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-399-25230-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2010

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