A sturdy effort from a small press focused on food literacy.

ZORA'S ZUCCHINI

After planting a dozen free zucchini plants, Zora finds ways to share and trade her bumper crop with others in her community.

“That’s going to be a lot of zucchini,” her father opines as Zora digs, plants, and waters. “We’ll eat it!” she assures him—and as the harvest rolls in, they do. In bread and soup; for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. By August, even perpetually rosy Zora realizes that this is too much food for her family. She swaps zucchini for tomatoes with Mrs. Thompson next door, then loads up the basket of her bike, giving zucchini away to neighbors. Still—there’s more. Enlisting the help of her sister and brother, Zora arranges a Saturday Garden Swap. After a slow start, neighbors come through, swapping everything from apricots to peppers. “Zora traded and traded until all her zucchini was gone.” While adult readers might scoff at the notion that Zora would be the only gardener in the neighborhood growing rampant zucchini plants, kids should warm to Zora’s predicament and resourceful problem-solving. Raff’s digitally colored watercolors have a cartoonlike, naïve quality. Hands have four fingers, and facial features are depicted as curved lines and dots. The spreads provide plenty of detail for children to notice—such as a cat’s displeasure at getting splashed by the watering can.

A sturdy effort from a small press focused on food literacy. (ideas for dealing with extra garden produce) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-9836615-7-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Readers to Eaters

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way.

NOAH CHASES THE WIND

A young boy sees things a little differently than others.

Noah can see patterns in the dust when it sparkles in the sunlight. And if he puts his nose to the ground, he can smell the “green tang of the ants in the grass.” His most favorite thing of all, however, is to read. Noah has endless curiosity about how and why things work. Books open the door to those answers. But there is one question the books do not explain. When the wind comes whistling by, where does it go? Noah decides to find out. In a chase that has a slight element of danger—wind, after all, is unpredictable—Noah runs down streets, across bridges, near a highway, until the wind lifts him off his feet. Cowman’s gusty wisps show each stream of air turning a different jewel tone, swirling all around. The ribbons gently bring Noah home, setting him down under the same thinking tree where he began. Did it really happen? Worthington’s sensitive exploration leaves readers with their own set of questions and perhaps gratitude for all types of perspective. An author’s note mentions children on the autism spectrum but widens to include all who feel a little different.

An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60554-356-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Redleaf Lane

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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A quiet story of sharing with no strings attached.

EXTRA YARN

A little girl in a town of white snow and soot-blackened chimneys opens a small box and discovers a never-ending gift of colorful yarn.

Annabelle knits herself a sweater, and with the leftover yarn, she knits one for her dog, and with the yarn left over from that, she knits one for a neighbor and for her classmates and for her teacher and for her family and for the birdhouse and for the buildings in town. All and everything are warm, cozy and colorful until a clotheshorse of an archduke arrives. Annabelle refuses his monetary offers, whereupon the box is stolen. The greedy archduke gets his just deserts when he opens the box to find it empty. It wends its way back to Annabelle, who ends up happily sitting in a knit-covered tree. Klassen, who worked on the film Coraline, uses inks, gouache and colorized scans of a sweater to create a stylized, linear design of dark geometric shapes against a white background. The stitches of the sweaters add a subdued rainbow. Barnett entertained middle-grade readers with his Brixton Brothers detective series. Here, he maintains a folkloric narrative that results in a traditional story arc complete with repetition, drama and a satisfying conclusion.

A quiet story of sharing with no strings attached. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-195338-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2011

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