Great fun, then, that's also an inspired approach to concert-going.

THE PHILHARMONIC GETS DRESSED

Well may you blink—but this is gloriously for real: on the cover is a woman struggling into a long black dress with an instrument case propped alongside.

And in the tenor of a suspense tale, ""one hundred and five people"" variously bathe and shower, shave and towel, don ""undershorts or briefs,"" ""petticoats or slips, and brassieres""—until, item-by-item, step-by-step, the unidentified one-hundred-and-five ""walk out of one hundred and five doors, into one hundred and five streets, and. . . take cabs, cars, subways, or buses to the middle of the city."" One man, who ""has wavy black hair streaked with white,"" has been dressing himself differently; and this obviously distinguished personage strides into a waiting limousine. Then, with the same meticulous detailing, the one hundred and four others take their seats (for the double bass players, stools); ""the man with the black wavy hair lit with white enters,"" ""steps one step up onto a box called a podium,"" and, at the wave of his baton, ""the hall. . . fills with music."" What is quite wonderful about this is that it's neither jokey nor artsy: the very notion of 105 diverse, scattered people dressing to assemble and play a symphony is attuned to children's curiosity and to the nature of music performance.

Great fun, then, that's also an inspired approach to concert-going.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1982

ISBN: 978-0-06-443124-8

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

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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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A memorable life—a forgettable presentation.

I AM JACKIE ROBINSON

From the Ordinary People Change the World series

Baseball’s No. 42 strikes out.

Even as a babe in his mother’s arms, Robinson is depicted wearing his Brooklyn Dodgers baseball cap in this latest entry in the Ordinary People Change the World series. He narrates his childhood alongside cartoon panels that show him as an expert runner and thrower. Racism and poverty are also part of his growing up, along with lessons in sharing and courage. Incredibly, the Negro Leagues are not mentioned beyond a passing reference to “a black team” with a picture of the Kansas City Monarchs next to their team bus (still looking like a child in the illustration, Robinson whines, “Gross! Is this food or goo?”). In 1946, Branch Rickey signs him to play for the Dodgers’ farm team, and the rest, as they say, is history. Robinson concludes his story with an exhortation to readers to be brave, strong and use their “power to do what’s right. / Use that power for a cause that you believe in.” Meltzer writes his inspirational biography as a first-person narrative, which risks being construed and used as an autobiography—which it is not. The digitally rendered cartoon illustrations that show Robinson as a perpetual child fall sadly short of capturing his demeanor and prowess.

A memorable life—a forgettable presentation. (photographs, timeline, sources, further reading) (Picture book/biography. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8037-4086-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2014

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