A lighthearted glimpse into a hyperactive, impulsive tot’s world and a possible learning tool to encourage social-emotional...

NO, NO, GNOME!

It’s time to harvest the school garden, and a young gnome has difficulty controlling his excitement.

The class at Greenthumb Elementary is decidedly diverse. Not only do the children display a variety of skin tones, there are also a few anthropomorphic rabbit students (also apparently of different ethnicities), plus…one gnome. The white-bearded youngster has a bulbous nose, huge smile, and unbridled enthusiasm. So much so, in fact, that he wreaks havoc on the garden. Mr. Waters first instructs Gnome to pull weeds. But soon his eagerness takes over, and he uncontrollably begins ripping everything from the ground, crops included. This causes the students to cry out in dismay, “No, no, Gnome!” (an all-too-familiar refrain for them). By the time Gnome’s bursts of energy are finally calmed, the garden is in ruins. The other students droop as dejectedly as the tattered plants. No one wants to speak to Gnome. He must figure out a way to earn their forgiveness. In a solution that encourages readers to repair their mistakes (even if it’s a bit unrealistic that a whole garden could be fixed in a single afternoon), Gnome’s smile shines brightly again. The warm, gouache illustrations showcase a bountiful harvest of produce and friendship.

A lighthearted glimpse into a hyperactive, impulsive tot’s world and a possible learning tool to encourage social-emotional growth. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-3091-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The message is worthy, but this phoned-in follow-up doesn’t add anything significant.

THE WORLD NEEDS MORE PURPLE SCHOOLS

From the My Purple World series

A color-themed vision of what school should be like.

In what amounts to a rehash of The World Needs More Purple People (2020), Bell and Hart address adult as well as young readers to explain what “curious and kind you” can do to make school, or for that matter the universe, a better place. Again culminating in the vague but familiar “JUST. BE. YOU!” the program remains much the same—including asking questions both “universe-sized” (“Could you make a burrito larger than a garbage truck?”) and “smaller, people-sized” (i.e., personal), working hard to learn and make things, offering praise and encouragement, speaking up and out, laughing together, and listening to others. In the illustrations, light-skinned, blond-haired narrator Penny poses amid a busy, open-mouthed, diverse cast that includes a child wearing a hijab and one who uses a wheelchair. Wiseman opts to show fewer grown-ups here, but the children are the same as in the earlier book, and a scene showing two figures blowing chocolate milk out of their noses essentially recycles a visual joke from the previous outing. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

The message is worthy, but this phoned-in follow-up doesn’t add anything significant. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 21, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-43490-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: April 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless.

THE WORLD NEEDS MORE PURPLE PEOPLE

A monohued tally of positive character traits.

Purple is a “magic color,” affirm the authors (both actors, though Hart’s name recognition is nowhere near the level of Bell’s), and “purple people” are the sort who ask questions, laugh wholeheartedly, work hard, freely voice feelings and opinions, help those who might “lose” their own voices in the face of unkindness, and, in sum, can “JUST BE (the real) YOU.” Unlike the obsessive protagonist of Victoria Kann’s Pinkalicious franchise, being a purple person has “nothing to do with what you look like”—a point that Wiseman underscores with scenes of exuberantly posed cartoon figures (including versions of the authors) in casual North American attire but sporting a wide range of ages, skin hues, and body types. A crowded playground at the close (no social distancing here) displays all this wholesome behavior in action. Plenty of purple highlights, plus a plethora of broad smiles and wide-open mouths, crank up the visual energy—and if the earnest overall tone doesn’t snag the attention of young audiences, a grossly literal view of the young narrator and a grandparent “snot-out-our-nose laughing” should do the trick. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.4-by-20.6-inch double-page spreads viewed at 22.2% of actual size.)

The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12196-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more