PUDDLES

From London (see review, above), a joyous celebration of a world all wet the morning after a night of rain. Brother and sister race outside to drink in the beauty and pleasure of a rain-soaked land: glittering beads in the pine needles, tiny rivulets on which to launch leaf boats, worms and frogs enjoying a good swim, a field of grass all pearly with droplets, and puddles—``Big ones, little ones, long ones, skinny ones—pieces of sky on the ground.'' The children pound their way through each and every one, getting properly drenched in the process. Then it's home to a bath, new clothes, a mug of cocoa, and back outside for another round of puddle-jumping. The text has a bouncy, pleasing lilt—``All night the slash/of rain and the flash/of lightning, and the/Ka-BOOM!/of thunder rattling/the house and all/the windows. We cuddle/between fright/and glee and want it/to stop/and never stop.'' The illustrations are full of light, color, and motion, especially in the adroit depictions of mud and water, reflections and perspectives. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: May 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-670-87218-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1997

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TO MARKET, TO MARKET

A marketing trip from Miranda (Glad Monster, Sad Monster, p. 1309) that jiggity jigs off in time-honored nursery-rhyme fashion, but almost immediately derails into well-charted chaos. The foodstuffs—the fat pig, the red hen, the plump goose, the pea pods, peppers, garlic, and spice—are wholly reasonable in light of the author's mention of shopping at traditional Spanish mercados, which stock live animals and vegetables. Stevens transfers the action to a standard American supermarket and a standard American kitchen, bringing hilarity to scenes that combine acrylics, oil pastels, and colored pencil with photo and fabric collage elements. The result is increasing frazzlement for the shopper, an older woman wearing spectacles, hat, and purple pumps (one of which is consumed by her groceries). It's back to market one last time for ingredients for the hot vegetable soup she prepares for the whole bunch. True, her kitchen's trashed and she probably won't find a welcome mat at her supermarket hereafter, but all's well that ends well—at least while the soup's on. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-15-200035-6

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1997

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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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