As they wind through towns, down country roads and along the highway, they see construction crews doing all sorts of jobs,...

ROAD WORK AHEAD

On the car ride to visit Grandma, a young boy is delighted to see many trucks and construction workers doing their jobs.

As they wind through towns, down country roads and along the highway, they see construction crews doing all sorts of jobs, from jackhammering roads and pruning trees to changing streetlamp bulbs and fixing water pipes. As his unflappable mother drives (smile pasted on her face), the lucky boy even gets to watch as they put up telephone poles: “Left lane closed / for drilling holes. // Watch out now, / they’re putting up poles.” Ho’s brightly colored artwork is tailor-made for her audience. While her scenes are visually packed with people, vehicles and activity, all are rendered with basic shapes and colors and lack the distracting details that would overwhelm young children. Suen’s sparse rhyming verse leads readers through the busy scenes and uses simple vocabulary that suits both the youngest listeners and those just beginning to read. Throughout, kids can pick out funny things “hidden” within the pictures—people and animals that make repeated appearances. And while the focus may be on construction trucks, many community vehicles are in evidence as well.

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-670-01288-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2011

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Instills a sense of well-being in youngsters while encouraging them to explore the natural world.

YOU ARE HOME WITH ME

This reassuring picture book exemplifies how parents throughout the animal kingdom make homes for their offspring.

The narrative is written from the point of view of a parent talking to their child: “If you were a beaver, I would gnaw on trees with my teeth to build a cozy lodge for us to sleep in during the day.” Text appears in big, easy-to-read type, with the name of the creature in boldface. Additional facts about the animal appear in a smaller font, such as: “Beavers have transparent eyelids to help them see under water.” The gathering of land, air, and water animals includes a raven, a flying squirrel, and a sea lion. “Home” might be a nest, a den, or a burrow. One example, of a blue whale who has homes in the north and south (ocean is implied), will help children stretch the concept into feeling at home in the larger world. Illustrations of the habitats have an inviting luminosity. Mature and baby animals are realistically depicted, although facial features appear to have been somewhat softened, perhaps to appeal to young readers. The book ends with the comforting scene of a human parent and child silhouetted in the welcoming lights of the house they approach: “Wherever you may be, you will always have a home with me.”

Instills a sense of well-being in youngsters while encouraging them to explore the natural world. (Informational picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-63217-224-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little Bigfoot/Sasquatch

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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A sweet, poetic ode to autumn.

IF YOU FIND A LEAF

A rhyming celebration of imagination.

A child with brown skin offers gentle, artful ideas about what to do with autumn leaves. The picture book's idyllic setting seems Northeastern in nature, with deciduous trees shedding leaves, which the child scoops up. Could a leaf from a tree become a hat, a Halloween mask, a hammock, or something else entirely? "It could be a horn that blows, announcing that we're here. // A leafy parade to celebrate our favorite time of year." Rhyme rules the text but isn't forced in the least. Collaged leaves against painted illustrations encourage play and imagination. A nod to winter and spring make this a year-round read. Endpapers with realistic labeled images of leaves provide an injection of information in this otherwise dreamy musing. The backmatter includes instructions on collaging—a meaningful and fun activity that builds upon the text. While there's nothing groundbreaking here, there is opportunity for both learning and whimsy. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A sweet, poetic ode to autumn. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: July 12, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-30659-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House Studio

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2022

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