THE BUTT BOOK

This paean to the posterior opens with the claim that, “[e]yes and ears are much respected, / but the butt has been neglected.” It would be legitimate to wonder whether Bennett and his publisher regret this overconfident statement, publishing as it does in the wake of Always Lots of Heinies at the Zoo, by Ayun Halliday and illustrated by Dan Santat, The Tushy Book, by Fran Manushkin and illustrated by Tracy Dockray, and the sublime Chicken Cheeks, by Michael Ian Black and illustrated by Kevin Hawkes (all 2009). But a contract’s a contract, so here is yet another book about bottoms in all their glory. Rhyming couplets invite readers to regard animal butts and human ones, historical butts and modern ones, plain old American butts and exotic foreign ones. While it’s normally a given that any mention of the word “butt” and glimpse of a naked cheek is enough to send preschoolers into gales of helpless laughter, one has to wonder if even they haven’t become jaded by the butt glut. Lester’s energetic watercolor-and-scratchboard illustrations can’t lift this book above the rest. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-59990-311-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2009

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SAY HELLO!

Today Carmelita visits her Abuela Rosa, but to get there she must walk. Down Ninth Avenue she strolls with her mother and dog. Colorful shops and congenial neighbors greet them along the way, and at each stop Carmelita says hello—in Spanish, Arabic, Hebrew and more. With a friendly “Jambo” for Joseph, a “Bonjour” at the bakery and an affectionate “Hey” for Max and Angel, the pig-tailed girl happily exercises her burgeoning multilingual skills. Her world is a vibrant community, where neighborliness, camaraderie and culture are celebrated. Isadora’s collaged artwork, reminiscent of Ezra Jack Keats, contains lovely edges and imperfections, which abet the feeling of an urban environment. Skillfully, she draws with her scissors, the cut-paper elements acting as her line work. Everything has a texture and surface, and with almost no solid colors, the city street is realized as a real, organic place. Readers will fall for the sociable Carmelita as they proudly learn a range of salutations, and the artist’s rich environment, packed with hidden details and charming animals, will delight readers with each return visit. Simply enchanting. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-399-25230-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2010

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TEN LITTLE FINGERS AND TEN LITTLE TOES

A pleasing poem that celebrates babies around the world. Whether from a remote village or an urban dwelling, a tent or the snow, Fox notes that each “of these babies, / as everyone knows, / had ten little fingers / and ten little toes.” Repeated in each stanza, the verse establishes an easy rhythm. Oxenbury’s charming illustrations depict infants from a variety of ethnicities wearing clothing that invokes a sense of place. Her pencil drawings, with clean watercolor washes laid in, are sweetly similar to those in her early board books (Clap Hands, 1987, etc.). Each stanza introduces a new pair of babies, and the illustrations cleverly incorporate the children from the previous stanzas onto one page, allowing readers to count not only fingers and toes but also babies. The last stanza switches its focus from two children to one “sweet little child,” and reveals the narrator as that baby’s mother. Little readers will take to the repetition and counting, while parents will be moved by the last spread: a sweet depiction of mother and baby. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-15-206057-2

Page Count: 34

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2008

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