A beguiling, environmental musing on how one small act can have far-reaching consequences.

WHAT MATTERS

A young boy picks up a piece of litter and changes the course of the day for many other living creatures.

In the park, a soda can glints in the sun. The boy runs to pick it up and put it in the recycling bin. A smile lights up his face, but he does not know how much this one, tiny action really matters. A butterfly flutters in the sky after the boy’s good deed is complete, appropriately hinting at the butterfly effect to come. In economical text, Hughes describes the many ways that others are affected by the boy’s action. A “hungry, nibbly mouse” may have gotten sick from the can, or the storm drain may have clogged, flooding the flowers. “It mattered to seventy-three blades of grass” and one dandelion puff that the boy delicately blows. Hatam’s spacious, digital illustrations show the two-toned black-and-white boy in the middle of a colored landscape. The story stretches beyond the confines of the park via the drain that the can cannot clog and a stream that will continue to flow freely all the way to the ocean, which can’t now throw the can back onto the beach. In a spread full of joyful splashes of water, Hughes heralds: “He made the earth just a little more blue, a smidgen more green.”

A beguiling, environmental musing on how one small act can have far-reaching consequences. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4598-0910-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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An adorable adventure in cartography.

CAMILLA, CARTOGRAPHER

An exercise of spatial thinking through a snowy forest.

Camilla the warthog collects maps. Maps of stars, New York, even the London Tube. She even owns an ancient map of her forest. Unfortunately for her, she believes all lands have been explored and there is nothing new to chart. However, with a snowy morning comes a new opportunity. When her hedgehog neighbor, Parsley, asks for her help in finding the creek, Camilla quivers with excitement when she realizes the snow-covered land “is uncharted territory.” With all landmarks covered in snow, Camilla and Parsley must use their spatial-reasoning skills and a compass to find a new way to the creek. Their trailblazing journey proves a challenge as they keep bumping into trees, rocks, and walls. But when they find the creek, Camilla will have all the information and tools ready to draw out a new map, to break out in case of another snowfall. Wood’s delightful illustrations and Dillemuth’s expertise in the matter engage readers in the woodland creatures’ adventures. In addition, Dillemuth, who holds a doctorate in geography, provides activities in the backmatter for parents and caregivers to help children develop their own spatial-reasoning skills, such as sketching and reading maps or using cardinal directions.

An adorable adventure in cartography. (author’s note) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4338-3033-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Magination/American Psychological Association

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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Just the thing for anyone with a Grinch-y tree of their own in the yard.

THE HALLOWEEN TREE

A grouchy sapling on a Christmas tree farm finds that there are better things than lights and decorations for its branches.

A Grinch among the other trees on the farm is determined never to become a sappy Christmas tree—and never to leave its spot. Its determination makes it so: It grows gnarled and twisted and needle-less. As time passes, the farm is swallowed by the suburbs. The neighborhood kids dare one another to climb the scary, grumpy-looking tree, and soon, they are using its branches for their imaginative play, the tree serving as a pirate ship, a fort, a spaceship, and a dragon. But in winter, the tree stands alone and feels bereft and lonely for the first time ever, and it can’t look away from the decorated tree inside the house next to its lot. When some parents threaten to cut the “horrible” tree down, the tree thinks, “Not now that my limbs are full of happy children,” showing how far it has come. Happily for the tree, the children won’t give up so easily, and though the tree never wished to become a Christmas tree, it’s perfectly content being a “trick or tree.” Martinez’s digital illustrations play up the humorous dichotomy between the happy, aspiring Christmas trees (and their shoppers) and the grumpy tree, and the diverse humans are satisfyingly expressive.

Just the thing for anyone with a Grinch-y tree of their own in the yard. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-7335-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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