CLICK, CLACK, QUACKITY-QUACK

AN ALPHABETICAL ADVENTURE

Preschoolers familiar with the Caldecott Honor–winning Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type will recognize that cacophonous crew of barnyard animals in this spin-off “alphabetical adventure.” The story begins with an avalanche of alliteration: “Animals awake / beneath blue blankets. / Clickety-clack!” Once again, Farmer Brown’s cows are typing. Duck dashes off with their freshly typed note, but why? And what does the note say? As Duck zooms by goats grooming, hens helping, and inchworms inching, she grabs a mouse-inhabited, picnic basket–bearing red wagon. The mysterious note turns out to be a big X because “X marks the picnic spot.” (A rather central glitch: the bold X is clearly hand-drawn, and the cows were supposed to have typed this note. Ah, well.) The picnicking menagerie (inchworms included) eats a wagonload of watermelon and promptly falls asleep, a rather sudden ending perhaps designed to cue preschoolers to call it a day themselves. Lewin’s brush and watercolor illustrations are as loose and lively as ever, barely restrained by the A-to-Z format that juxtaposes a big lowercase letter with each visual vignette. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-689-87715-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2005

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Innovative and thoroughly enjoyable.

ANIMAL SHAPES

You think you know shapes? Animals? Blend them together, and you might see them both a little differently!

What a mischievous twist on a concept book! With wordplay and a few groan-inducing puns, Neal creates connections among animals and shapes that are both unexpected and so seemingly obvious that readers might wonder why they didn’t see them all along. Of course, a “lazy turtle” meeting an oval would create the side-splitting combo of a “SLOW-VAL.” A dramatic page turn transforms a deeply saturated, clean-lined green oval by superimposing a head and turtle shell atop, with watery blue ripples completing the illusion. Minimal backgrounds and sketchy, impressionistic detailing keep the focus right on the zany animals. Beginning with simple shapes, the geometric forms become more complicated as the book advances, taking readers from a “soaring bird” that meets a triangle to become a “FLY-ANGLE” to a “sleepy lion” nonagon “YAWN-AGON.” Its companion text, Animal Colors, delves into color theory, this time creating entirely hybrid animals, such as the “GREEN WHION” with maned head and whale’s tail made from a “blue whale and a yellow lion.” It’s a compelling way to visualize color mixing, and like Animal Shapes, it’s got verve. Who doesn’t want to shout out that a yellow kangaroo/green moose blend is a “CHARTREUSE KANGAMOOSE”?

Innovative and thoroughly enjoyable. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0534-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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ROADWORK

Sutton’s latest is a truck-lover’s dream come true—repetition, rhyme and onomatopoeia form the text, while construction trucks vie for readers’ attention in the illustrations. The result is a wonderfully noisy look at how roads are built. From a line on a map and an empty field to the finished road complete with lights and signs, youngsters will be able to follow all the steps, learning all the vehicles that take part in the process (a final page introduces readers to each one). “Pack the ground. Pack the ground. / Roll one way, then back. / Make the roadbed good and hard. / Clang! Crunch! Crack!” Lovelock’s debut certainly makes an impression. His pigmented ink illustrations keep the focus on the machines and the individual parts they play in building the road. The level of detail matches the text’s intended audience—enough to satisfy, not so much as to overwhelm. Pave the way to this book’s shelf; perfect for read-alouds, it will be a hit whether shared with a group or one-on-one. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: July 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-7636-3912-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2008

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