Not nearly as much fun as the showdown between letters and numbers.

COLORS VERSUS SHAPES

Boldt (123 versus ABC, 2013) continues to mix things up; this time, colors and shapes audition to be the stars of a book.

Team 1 consists of colors—blobs with arms, legs and faces. They are invited to take the stage first, but they’re interrupted by Team 2—white anthropomorphized shapes with big attitudes: “Clearly we’re going to win this contest….So you may as well just skip those fellas.” Well, them’s fightin’ words. The colors begin to show off, mixing primaries to make secondaries (blue and yellow combine, and green is the result—but all three still exist separately, which may puzzle readers). Meanwhile, two triangles make a square, the only combination; from there, they simply add angles and sides. The yelling escalates until red and octagon accidently collide. Cooperation leads to a colorful, wordless spread that showcases colorful objects built from basic shapes, though not all of them are easily individuated (the three sections of an apple-tree trunk, for instance); Stella Blackstone’s Ship Shapes (2006) did a much better job with regard to combining shapes into scenes. In the end, the judges (the stars of 123 versus ABC) give colors a 10 and shapes an A+, and obviously, they are both the stars of this book. Boldt’s digital illustrations are just as colorful and zany as those in his previous book, but readers may have some trouble following the numerous, crowded speech bubbles.

Not nearly as much fun as the showdown between letters and numbers. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-06-210303-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Whether in hand or on shelf, this one’s sure to make a splash anywhere and everywhere.

I'M ON IT!

From the Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! series

A frog tries to do everything a goat does, too.

Goat asks Frog to look at them before declaring “I’m ON it!” while balancing atop a tree stump near a pond. After an “Oooh!” and a “You know what?” Frog leaps off their lily pad to balance on a rock: “I’m on it, too!” Goat grabs a prop so that they can be both “on it AND beside it.” (It may take young readers a little bit to realize there are two its.) So does Frog. The competition continues as Frog struggles to mimic overconfident Goat’s antics. In addition to on and beside, the pair adds inside, between, under, and more. Eventually, it all gets to be too much for Frog to handle, so Frog falls into the water, resumes position on the lily pad, and declares “I am OVER it” while eating a fly. In an act of solidarity, Goat jumps in, too. In Tsurumi’s first foray into early readers she pares down her energetic, colorful cartoon style to the bare essentials without losing any of the madcap fun. Using fewer than 80 repeated words (over 12 of which are prepositions), the clever text instructs, delights, and revels in its own playfulness. Color-coded speech bubbles (orange for Goat, green for Frog) help match the dialogue with each speaker. Like others in the Elephant & Piggie Like Reading series, Elephant and Piggie metafictively bookend the main narrative with hilariously on-the-nose commentary.

Whether in hand or on shelf, this one’s sure to make a splash anywhere and everywhere. (Early reader. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 11, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-368-06696-9

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Between its autumn and field-trip themes and the fact that not many books start countdowns from 20, this may find its way to...

PUMPKIN COUNTDOWN

A class visits the pumpkin patch, giving readers a chance to count down from 20.

At the farm, Farmer Mixenmatch gives them the tour, which includes a petting zoo, an educational area, a corn maze and a tractor ride to the pumpkin patch. Holub’s text cleverly though not always successfully rhymes each child’s name within the line: “ ‘Eighteen kids get on our bus,’ says Russ. / ‘But someone’s late,’ says Kate. / ‘Wait for me!’ calls Kiri.” Pumpkins at the tops of pages contain the numerals that match the text, allowing readers to pair them with the orange-colored, spelled-out numbers. Some of the objects proffered to count are a bit of a stretch—“Guess sixteen things we’ll see,” count 14 cars that arrived at the farm before the bus—but Smith’s artwork keeps things easy to count, except for a challenging page that asks readers to search for 17 orange items (answers are at the bottom, upside down). Strangely, Holub includes one page with nothing to count—a sign marks “15 Pumpkin Street.” Charming, multicultural round-faced characters and lots of detail encourage readers to go back through the book scouring pages for the 16 things the kids guessed they might see. Endpapers featuring a smattering of pumpkin facts round out the text.

Between its autumn and field-trip themes and the fact that not many books start countdowns from 20, this may find its way to many library shelves. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: July 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8075-6660-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: May 16, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more