A splendor for the senses even as it promotes togetherness and teaches a second language. A great addition to any library!...

OUR CELEBRACIÓN!

Rhyming couplets in English and Spanish offer a language lesson to readers who join multicultural friends at a vibrant neighborhood celebration with music, fireworks, and a fabulous parade.

The day begins with sunshine as the text invites readers to follow a happy, interracial group that includes children and adults of varying skin tones to a celebration of Latinx culture on the town plaza. Watch the festivalgoers hold hands as they wander amid balloons and banderas. Enjoy the crowd as they eat hot dogs and hamburguesas while enjoying a parade that includes a big red fire engine, a line of fast blue motocicletas, gymnasts, flamenco dancers, musicians, antique cars, and floats. See young children celebrate with parents, caregivers, and grandparents in vibrant double-page spreads that feature approximately 50 diverse characters who reappear. Young readers will enjoy studying the illustrations to find the familiar faces with whom they started the day. Even as the party is briefly interrupted by a storm, the joy isn’t dampened—only improved by a rainbow with its colors labeled in Spanish. The book is a triumph for Elya and Aranda, whose rollicking rhymes and engaging pictures, respectively, portray different cultures sharing fun activities. Cognates are used in the Spanish text, making the language lesson easy for English-only readers. There is a glossary at the back of the book to clarify if needed.

A splendor for the senses even as it promotes togetherness and teaches a second language. A great addition to any library! (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-62014-271-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Lee & Low Books

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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Safe to creep on by.

LOVE FROM THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR

Carle’s famous caterpillar expresses its love.

In three sentences that stretch out over most of the book’s 32 pages, the (here, at least) not-so-ravenous larva first describes the object of its love, then describes how that loved one makes it feel before concluding, “That’s why… / I[heart]U.” There is little original in either visual or textual content, much of it mined from The Very Hungry Caterpillar. “You are… / …so sweet,” proclaims the caterpillar as it crawls through the hole it’s munched in a strawberry; “…the cherry on my cake,” it says as it perches on the familiar square of chocolate cake; “…the apple of my eye,” it announces as it emerges from an apple. Images familiar from other works join the smiling sun that shone down on the caterpillar as it delivers assurances that “you make… / …the sun shine brighter / …the stars sparkle,” and so on. The book is small, only 7 inches high and 5 ¾ inches across when closed—probably not coincidentally about the size of a greeting card. While generations of children have grown up with the ravenous caterpillar, this collection of Carle imagery and platitudinous sentiment has little of his classic’s charm. The melding of Carle’s caterpillar with Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE on the book’s cover, alas, draws further attention to its derivative nature.

Safe to creep on by. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-448-48932-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2021

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As ephemeral as a valentine.

LOVE FROM THE CRAYONS

Daywalt and Jeffers’ wandering crayons explore love.

Each double-page spread offers readers a vision of one of the anthropomorphic crayons on the left along with the statement “Love is [color].” The word love is represented by a small heart in the appropriate color. Opposite, childlike crayon drawings explain how that color represents love. So, readers learn, “love is green. / Because love is helpful.” The accompanying crayon drawing depicts two alligators, one holding a recycling bin and the other tossing a plastic cup into it, offering readers two ways of understanding green. Some statements are thought-provoking: “Love is white. / Because sometimes love is hard to see,” reaches beyond the immediate image of a cat’s yellow eyes, pink nose, and black mouth and whiskers, its white face and body indistinguishable from the paper it’s drawn on, to prompt real questions. “Love is brown. / Because sometimes love stinks,” on the other hand, depicted by a brown bear standing next to a brown, squiggly turd, may provoke giggles but is fundamentally a cheap laugh. Some of the color assignments have a distinctly arbitrary feel: Why is purple associated with the imagination and pink with silliness? Fans of The Day the Crayons Quit (2013) hoping for more clever, metaliterary fun will be disappointed by this rather syrupy read.

As ephemeral as a valentine. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-9268-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2021

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