SONGS FOR LITTLE FOLKS

THE PETER YARROW SONGBOOK, #4

This fourth in the Peter Yarrow Songbook series (Let’s Sing Together, 2009, etc.) will be welcome, especially with the accompanying CD that features the author and his daughter Bethany. The lyrics of 12 childhood songs are illustrated on double spreads with richly colored acrylic paints. Widener (the same illustrator as in the three previous books) has a style reminiscent of the WPA-era muralists, with distinct, sweeping curves delineating his landscapes; his characters display exaggerated figures that match the lively tunes. The second half of the book offers “Notes to My Fellow Pickers,” repeating the lyrics with chord names, diagrams for finger placement and simple spot art. The selections range from “Pop Goes the Weasel” to “The Green Grass Grew” to “Polly Wolly Doodle.” A plus is the two pages of paragraphs of each song’s origin in the backmatter. The paper-over-boards cover may need reinforcing after repeated handling. (Songbook/picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4027-5964-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2010

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Good fun for all little ninjas and their parents.

NAUGHTY NINJA TAKES A BATH

After swinging out from the jungle after a long day of ninja-ing, Will makes his way home just in time for a bath. But as all ninjas know, danger lurks around every corner.

Even naughty ninjas get hungry, but Dad says, “Pee-yew,” and insists his little ninja get clean before going near a morsel. Ever the Naughty Ninja, Will follows his dad into the bathroom and immediately spies danger: Poisonous flies that have followed him from the jungle! As any parent would, his dad begs him not to say, “Ninja to the rescue,” because we all know what comes after a catchphrase…chaos! Through each increasingly rough rescue, Dad finds himself more and more defeated in his quest to complete bathtime, but ultimately he starts to find the infectious joy that only the ridiculousness of children can bring out in an adult. The art is bright and finds some nifty ninja perspectives that use the space well. It also places an interracial family at its center: Dad has brown skin and dark, puffy hair, and Mom is a white redhead; when out of his ninja cowl, Will looks like a slightly lighter-skinned version of his father. Kids will laugh at everything the dad is put through, and parents will knowingly nod, because we have all had nights with little ninjas soaking the bathroom floor. The book starts out a little text heavy but finds its groove quickly, reading smoothly going forward. Lots of action means it’s best not to save this one for bedtime.

Good fun for all little ninjas and their parents. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5420-9433-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2019

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AMAZING GRACE

Grace loves to act out her favorite stories, taking every part from Joan of Arc to Mowgli. But when her class learns that they will be doing Peter Pan, the other kids tell Grace she can't have the lead: Peter's neither black nor a girl. Fortunately, Nana and Ma have contagious confidence in Grace's ability, and at the tryouts the class also agrees that Grace is best. It's easy to catch the wholesomely assertive spirit here—as Binch does, in this excellent debut, with her detailed, realistic watercolors; vibrant Grace almost springs from the page. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1991

ISBN: 0-8037-1040-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1991

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