A zany, rollicking story with hilarious illustrations.

BOOK OR BELL?

When Henry ignores his school’s loud bells and continues to read a mesmerizing book, chaos ensues—and several inept adults attempt to remedy the situation.

Readers will identify with Henry when he tries to read “the most awesome book about a bike” and is interrupted, first in the library and then after recess. When the lunch bell rings, Henry, for the first time in his young life, decides to ignore it and “just stay put.” So far, readers have observed a reasonably well-behaved group of cartoonlike children representing many ethnicities. Both Henry and Ms. Sabio, his teacher, have light brown skin and dark hair, though his is straight and hers is tightly curled. Funny, subtle details emerge early, such as a student picking their nose. Next, the text and artwork become silly to the point of laughter, as Henry’s refusal to leave his book causes a messy chain reaction in the cafeteria, where the food meant for Henry’s tray instead goes “SPLOT!—onto the floor.” One elected official after another each demands louder bells, which cause increasingly more mayhem. As children and adults scatter and various classroom objects implode, Henry reads on. Finally, Ms. Sabio, who was rudely interrupted by the mayor when she tried to explain why Henry stayed put, saves the day with a simple solution.

A zany, rollicking story with hilarious illustrations. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 17, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-68119-729-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: June 14, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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RAIN SCHOOL

It takes a village to make a school. In Chad, big brothers and sisters lead the way for younger children on the first day of school. Little Thomas is full of questions. When he and the other children arrive, there are no classrooms and no desks. But the teacher's there, holding a trowel. "We will build our school," she declares. Everyone sets to work, making mud bricks that dry in the sun and a roof out of grass and saplings. Thomas loves his lessons; every day he learns something new. At the end of the school year, the minds of the students "are fat with knowledge." And just in time: The rainy season arrives and makes short work of the schoolhouse. Come September, they'll start all over. Rumford's illustrations make great use of color, dark brown skin and bright shirts, shorts and dresses against golden backgrounds, the hues applied in smudgy layers that infuse each scene with warmth—until the gray rains arrive. It's a nifty social-studies lesson tucked into a warm tale of community. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-547-24307-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 1, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way.

NOAH CHASES THE WIND

A young boy sees things a little differently than others.

Noah can see patterns in the dust when it sparkles in the sunlight. And if he puts his nose to the ground, he can smell the “green tang of the ants in the grass.” His most favorite thing of all, however, is to read. Noah has endless curiosity about how and why things work. Books open the door to those answers. But there is one question the books do not explain. When the wind comes whistling by, where does it go? Noah decides to find out. In a chase that has a slight element of danger—wind, after all, is unpredictable—Noah runs down streets, across bridges, near a highway, until the wind lifts him off his feet. Cowman’s gusty wisps show each stream of air turning a different jewel tone, swirling all around. The ribbons gently bring Noah home, setting him down under the same thinking tree where he began. Did it really happen? Worthington’s sensitive exploration leaves readers with their own set of questions and perhaps gratitude for all types of perspective. An author’s note mentions children on the autism spectrum but widens to include all who feel a little different.

An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60554-356-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Redleaf Lane

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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