Words like “measures” might be challenging for this first reader, but for the most part, Cerato brings the coolness of...

DREW THE SCREW

From the I Like To Read series

An anthropomorphic screw introduces readers to the tools in his shed then suffers a modest existential crisis before he learns his own raison d’être.

Cerato deploys a vibrant palette and plenty of electric complementary colors—although the absence of a distinctive hand other than an electronic one is also in evidence—to add an important degree of oomph to this scant narrative. Drew, the tour guide, is a screw of few words: “The tape measures.” “The hammer hits.” “The saw cuts.” Easy enough for a book aimed at fledgling readers, 59 words in total, with illustrations full of bold action to help put the words into their contexts. Some of the sentences are a bit limp—“The clamp holds things”; as does, for instance, a refrigerator—and it does feel a bit aggressive when friendly little Drew finds himself encircled by his tool mates, who demand, “What can you do?” as if Drew were a third wheel in the toolshed. Then the freckle-faced white boy who has been busy in the background all this time scoops Drew up and puts his insecurities to rest, although Cerato never explains exactly what it is that Drew does, just shows him happily holding a sign in place. He could, after all, just be another clamp.

Words like “measures” might be challenging for this first reader, but for the most part, Cerato brings the coolness of working in the toolshed to life. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3540-1

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.

MAMA BUILT A LITTLE NEST

Echoing the meter of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” Ward uses catchy original rhymes to describe the variety of nests birds create.

Each sweet stanza is complemented by a factual, engaging description of the nesting habits of each bird. Some of the notes are intriguing, such as the fact that the hummingbird uses flexible spider web to construct its cup-shaped nest so the nest will stretch as the chicks grow. An especially endearing nesting behavior is that of the emperor penguin, who, with unbelievable patience, incubates the egg between his tummy and his feet for up to 60 days. The author clearly feels a mission to impart her extensive knowledge of birds and bird behavior to the very young, and she’s found an appealing and attractive way to accomplish this. The simple rhymes on the left page of each spread, written from the young bird’s perspective, will appeal to younger children, and the notes on the right-hand page of each spread provide more complex factual information that will help parents answer further questions and satisfy the curiosity of older children. Jenkins’ accomplished collage illustrations of common bird species—woodpecker, hummingbird, cowbird, emperor penguin, eagle, owl, wren—as well as exotics, such as flamingoes and hornbills, are characteristically naturalistic and accurate in detail.

A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.   (author’s note, further resources) (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2116-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An adorable adventure in cartography.

CAMILLA, CARTOGRAPHER

An exercise of spatial thinking through a snowy forest.

Camilla the warthog collects maps. Maps of stars, New York, even the London Tube. She even owns an ancient map of her forest. Unfortunately for her, she believes all lands have been explored and there is nothing new to chart. However, with a snowy morning comes a new opportunity. When her hedgehog neighbor, Parsley, asks for her help in finding the creek, Camilla quivers with excitement when she realizes the snow-covered land “is uncharted territory.” With all landmarks covered in snow, Camilla and Parsley must use their spatial-reasoning skills and a compass to find a new way to the creek. Their trailblazing journey proves a challenge as they keep bumping into trees, rocks, and walls. But when they find the creek, Camilla will have all the information and tools ready to draw out a new map, to break out in case of another snowfall. Wood’s delightful illustrations and Dillemuth’s expertise in the matter engage readers in the woodland creatures’ adventures. In addition, Dillemuth, who holds a doctorate in geography, provides activities in the backmatter for parents and caregivers to help children develop their own spatial-reasoning skills, such as sketching and reading maps or using cardinal directions.

An adorable adventure in cartography. (author’s note) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4338-3033-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Magination/American Psychological Association

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more