LATE FOR SCHOOL

“Woke up this morning / Clock said I was late for school / Teacher told me that’s not cool / Gotta put my shirt and pants on / Flew down the front stair / Wet my fingers and slicked my hair / Elbowed grandma passing by / Her face went into a pie.” This little guy with great big ears doesn’t want to disappoint Mom and Dad or end up in the grammar slammer, so he puts on some wild speed. He log rolls across a neighbor’s pool and uses the diving board to grab a kite tail. He floats to the football field and makes a mad dash through the school building…you know where this is heading: It’s Saturday! Rats! Thank goodness he gets home in time to go fishing with Dad. Martin turns one of the songs from his 2009 Grammy-winning bluegrass recording into what functions best as a read-along (or sing-along) with the enclosed CD; only he can make his wild word rhythms shine. Payne’s painted illustrations are a good-enough match, but they are hardly as frenetic as the song. Definitely worth a place in your picture-book collection nevertheless. (Picture book. 4-8)

 

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-446-55702-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2010

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This is more than just a book about making and engineering: Make an excellent choice to add this to the shelves.

BE A MAKER

Follow along as a child makes a spaceship, a friend, and a difference in her community.

“Ask yourself this question in the morning when you wake: / in a world of possibilities, today, what will you make?” Upon waking up, a young girl uses her imagination and things she has at home to make a tower, a drum set, and a spaceship. When she ventures outside, she makes a new friend. Working together, they make a lemonade stand and then make a donation to the local park. Finally, they make a choice to help more in order to make a difference in their community. Howes speaks to readers in rhyming verse about the many things they can make, intentionally repeating the verb throughout. Including themes of creativity, imagination, music, engineering, relationships, economics, and community service, she creates a powerful message about making choices to be proud of. Vukovic uses mixed media, including watercolors and crayon, to create lively, striking illustrations. The pictures capture a child’s imagination and how ordinary things can be made into something extraordinary. Together the text and the illustrations create an excellent read that will empower readers to reflect on their own lives and make a change or two or three. The unnamed protagonist has brown skin and long, dark braids; her friend presents white.

This is more than just a book about making and engineering: Make an excellent choice to add this to the shelves. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5124-9802-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Carolrhoda

Review Posted Online: Dec. 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

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A rollicking tale of rivalry.

IT HAPPENED ON SWEET STREET

Sweet Street had just one baker, Monsieur Oliphant, until two new confectionists move in, bringing a sugar rush of competition and customers.

First comes “Cookie Concocter par excellence” Mademoiselle Fee and then a pie maker, who opens “the divine Patisserie Clotilde!” With each new arrival to Sweet Street, rivalries mount and lines of hungry treat lovers lengthen. Children will delight in thinking about an abundance of gingerbread cookies, teetering, towering cakes, and blackbird pies. Wonderfully eccentric line-and-watercolor illustrations (with whites and marbled pastels like frosting) appeal too. Fine linework lends specificity to an off-kilter world in which buildings tilt at wacky angles and odd-looking (exclusively pale) people walk about, their pantaloons, ruffles, long torsos, and twiglike arms, legs, and fingers distinguishing them as wonderfully idiosyncratic. Rotund Monsieur Oliphant’s periwinkle complexion, flapping ears, and elongated nose make him look remarkably like an elephant while the women confectionists appear clownlike, with exaggerated lips, extravagantly lashed eyes, and voluminous clothes. French idioms surface intermittently, adding a certain je ne sais quoi. Embedded rhymes contribute to a bouncing, playful narrative too: “He layered them and cherried them and married people on them.” Tension builds as the cul de sac grows more congested with sweet-makers, competition, frustration, and customers. When the inevitable, fantastically messy food fight occurs, an observant child finds a sweet solution amid the delicious detritus.

A rollicking tale of rivalry. (Picture book. 4-8 )

Pub Date: July 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-101-91885-2

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Tundra Books

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2020

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