The far north has never felt so deliciously warm.

IN MY ANAANA'S AMAUTIK

The narrator, an Inuit toddler, enjoys being tucked in the hood of Anaana’s parka.

In the far north, many women wear parkas that have a hood, or amautik, that also serves as a baby carrier to keep their offspring warm. One toddler, the narrator of the story, explains how being carried this way “feels like being wrapped up in soft clouds.” While tucked inside the amautik, the child inhales Anaana’s calming scent, like “flowers in the summertime.” The narrator thinks of the hood as a tiny iglu, or snow house, that provides cozy protection. The sound of Anaana’s laughter comforts the child, but most of all, the child feels Anaana’s love. Each spread appeals to a different sense, creating a deliciously cozy and nurturing microenvironment for this lucky tot. Inuit author and educator Sammurtok brings her work preserving Inuktitut to the text, with a spare sprinkling of vocabulary (defined in a closing glossary). The repetition of “In my anaana’s amautik” at the beginning of each short paragraph is both lulling and reinforcing of the relationship between child and mother. Canadian illustrator Lishchenko’s use of textures and subtle colors blends well with the strong, simple text. Delicate pastels give the Arctic landscape a welcoming beauty, and fanciful depictions of the similes the narrator suggests lend a playful air.

The far north has never felt so deliciously warm. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: April 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-77227-252-9

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Inhabit Media

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2020

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THE LAST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

Loewen’s story is a simple snapshot of kindergarten graduation day, and it stays true to form, with Yoshikawa’s artwork resembling photos that might be placed in an album—and the illustrations cheer, a mixed media of saturated color, remarkable depth and joyful expression. The author comfortably captures the hesitations of making the jump from kindergarten to first grade without making a fuss about it, and she makes the prospect something worth the effort. Trepidation aside, this is a reminder of how much fun kindergarten was: your own cubbyhole, the Halloween parade, losing a tooth, “the last time we’ll ever sit criss-cross applesauce together.” But there is also the fledgling’s pleasure at shucking off the past—swabbing the desks, tossing out the stubbiest crayons, taking the pictures off the wall—and surging into the future. Then there is graduation itself: donning the mortarboards, trooping into the auditorium—“Mr. Meyer starts playing a serious song on the piano. It makes me want to cry. It makes me want to march”—which will likely have a few adult readers feeling the same. (Picture book. 4-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7614-5807-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Review Posted Online: Jan. 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2011

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Out of all the titles in the series, Goldilocks’ adventures are the most cogent and age-appropriate.

GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS

From the Les Petit Fairytales series

The flaxen-haired tyke makes her infamous visit to the bears’ house in this simplified adaptation.

The classic story is told with minimal text, one or two words per double-page spread. Goldilocks uses speech bubbles to describe the porridge, chairs and beds (“Too hot. / Too cold. / Just right”). The bears look bemused when they find the girl snoozing in Baby Bear’s bed, and they offer an amicable and winsome goodbye when she dashes off. The richly colored cartoons, likely created with the aid of a computer, present friendly-looking characters with oversize heads. The companion release is a stripped-down version of “Little Red Riding Hood” following the same format and style, right down to the sparkly heroine’s outfit and glittery letters employed on the cover. Youngsters unfamiliar with the story may need adult help to understand that the friendly, cross-dressing wolf has actually swallowed Grandma, since all the readers see is a “Woodsman” examining the wolf’s teeth and then sending the predator away in shame.

Out of all the titles in the series, Goldilocks’ adventures are the most cogent and age-appropriate. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Feb. 25, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8050-9912-6

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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