An inviting exploration of a beautiful biome for budding nature lovers.

CAN YOU SEE ME?

From the I Like To Read series

Sharp-eyed readers are invited to spot various animals in the Costa Rican rain forest.

Lewin, an intrepid world traveler, once again displays his skill at depicting mammals, birds and reptiles in their natural habitats. Camouflage is the unspoken theme. A toucan feeds in the trees, its rounded back visually echoed by the fruit he is feasting on. A vine snake slithers up a tree trunk, its sinuous length blending in with the branches. A spectacled caiman pokes its mottled head up from a cluster of lily pads. A howler monkey stares out from dark branches, while many feet below, a land crab skitters across the forest floor. A great potoo perches on a tree branch, its feathers perfectly emulating the texture and color of the bark. But then, surprise! A red poison dart frog is eye-poppingly visible. Simple declarative sentences encourage emerging readers to explore and, at the same time, develop a kinship for these creatures who “are still here.” Lewin uses watercolors to brilliantly showcase the play of light and dark in the dense foliage. Sunlight shimmers, shines and fades into darkness. A pictorial guide identifies each of the animals by name.

 An inviting exploration of a beautiful biome for budding nature lovers. (Early reader. 2-6)

Pub Date: March 15, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2940-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2014

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A TREE IS NICE

A nursery school approach to a general concept. "A tree is nice"- Why? Because..."We can climb the tree...play pirate ship...pick the apples...build playhouses out of the leaves. A tree is nice to hang a swing in...Birds build nests in trees... Sticks come off trees...People have picnics there too"...etc. etc. One follows the give and take of a shared succession of reactions to what a tree- or trees- can mean. There is a kind of poetic simplicity that is innate in small children. Marc Simont has made the pictures, half in full color, and they too have a childlike directness (with an underlying sophistication that adults will recognize). Not a book for everyone -but those who like it will like it immensely. The format (6 x 11) makes it a difficult book for shelving, so put it in the "clean hands" section of flat books. Here's your first book for Arbor Day use- a good spring and summer item.

Pub Date: June 15, 1956

ISBN: 978-0-06-443147-7

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Harper

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1956

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Willems’ formula is still a winner.

THE PIGEON NEEDS A BATH!

From the Pigeon series

The pigeon is back, and he is filthy!

Readers haven’t seen the pigeon for a couple of years, not since The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? (2012), and apparently he hasn’t bathed in all that time. Per the usual routine, the bus driver (clad in shower cap and bathrobe) opens the story by asking readers to help convince the pigeon to take a bath. Though he’s covered in grime, the obstreperous bird predictably resists. He glares at readers and suggests that maybe they need baths. With the turn of the page, Willems anticipates readers’ energetic denials: The pigeon demands, “YEAH! When was the last time YOU had a bath?!” Another beat allows children to supply the answer. “Oh.” A trio of flies that find him repulsive (“P.U.!”) convinces him it’s time. One spread with 29 separate panels depicts the pigeon adjusting the bath (“Too wet!…Too cold.…Too reflective”) before the page turn reveals him jumping in with a spread-filling “SPLASH!” Readers accustomed to the pigeon formula will note that here the story breaks from its normal rhythms; instead of throwing a tantrum, the pigeon discovers what readers already know: “This is FUN!” All the elements are in place, including page backgrounds that modulate from dirty browns to fresh, clean colors and endpapers that bookend the story (including a very funny turnabout for the duckling, here a rubber bath toy).

Willems’ formula is still a winner. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9087-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2014

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