CENTRAL PARK SERENADE

Catchy couplets and luscious full-bleed illustrations combine in this joyous celebration of a Central Park summer. The title spread, bathed in the golden glow of sunrise, sets the tone as a child, model boat above his bed, sleeps in his park-side bedroom. Rich earth tones emanate warmth as the child, boat in hand and father by his side, stands on the busy street corner about to enter the park. (“Beep, beep, beep, / A taxi calls. / But the traffic creeps and the traffic crawls / Honk, honk, honk. / A bus drives by. / A startled baby starts to cry.”) The next spread offers a bird’s-eye view and introduces the title’s refrain: “And the pigeons coo / And the big dogs bark / And the noises echo through the park.” Subsequent spreads highlight, among other events, a steel drum performance (“Boom, boom, boom, / A drummer plays”), and a baseball game (“Striike one! Striike two! An umpire’s call. / Craaack! Whoosh! retorts the ball”). In all, the boy, his father, and friends blend into the background. The foursome finally comes into focus when they reach the boating pond. Buttery sails dominate the centerfold as the children kneel at water’s edge with their remote controls. The final spread brings the story full circle as the boy hangs his boat above his bed and sunset settles over the park. Children will enjoy spotting the boy and his boat in each scene and the repeated refrain invites participation. Endpapers feature a map of Central Park with labeled landmarks. Very inviting. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-06-025891-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2002

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

SAY HELLO!

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

TEN LITTLE FINGERS AND TEN LITTLE TOES

A pleasing poem that celebrates babies around the world. Whether from a remote village or an urban dwelling, a tent or the snow, Fox notes that each “of these babies, / as everyone knows, / had ten little fingers / and ten little toes.” Repeated in each stanza, the verse establishes an easy rhythm. Oxenbury’s charming illustrations depict infants from a variety of ethnicities wearing clothing that invokes a sense of place. Her pencil drawings, with clean watercolor washes laid in, are sweetly similar to those in her early board books (Clap Hands, 1987, etc.). Each stanza introduces a new pair of babies, and the illustrations cleverly incorporate the children from the previous stanzas onto one page, allowing readers to count not only fingers and toes but also babies. The last stanza switches its focus from two children to one “sweet little child,” and reveals the narrator as that baby’s mother. Little readers will take to the repetition and counting, while parents will be moved by the last spread: a sweet depiction of mother and baby. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-15-206057-2

Page Count: 34

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2008

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more