Smashing good fun for preschoolers of both genders.

DEMOLITION

Ode to a wrecking ball! And other heavy construction equipment.

"Grab your gear. Grab your gear," begins the book, which offers 11 four-line verses in bold lettering, each in a two-page spread highlighting a different aspect of the demolition process. Workers get into their protective gear as the wrecking ball is moved into place: "Buckle, tie, and strap. / Safety jackets, boots and hats. / Zip! Stamp! SNAP!" The jaws of the excavator "Rip! Roar! CRASH!" And its basket works to "Ram the walls. Ram the walls." The mobile crusher grinds up broken concrete, and the industrial wood chipper shreds the wood: "Split and chop and chip." One verse is dedicated to loading the truck with debris, another to building playground equipment on the excavation site. The final lines—"Join the fun. Join the fun... / Hip...hip... HOORAY!"—depict happy people using the park that has been designed and built on the demolition site. A final illustrated page offers some concise "Machine Facts" on both the vehicles and some of their components. The onomatopoeia in Sutton's simple rhyming text is appealingly extreme, and it's like a natural for listener repetition, though the verses could be more distinct from one another. Lovelock's bright pictures—in ink, acrylic and colored pencil—are a solid match.

Smashing good fun for preschoolers of both genders.    (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7636-5830-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Jan. 4, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2012

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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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