THE RED LEMON

Wildly colorful pages filled with geometrically shaped figures tell the tale of Farmer McPhee and his lemon orchards. The rhyming story begins conventionally, with an ode to tart, yellow lemons and their many delicious uses. One day Farmer McPhee, as round as his trees, is shocked to spy a red lemon. Imagining terrible havoc created by a differently colored lemon, McPhee quickly throws it over to an island. Two hundred years pass. The farmer’s land is gray, sere and empty. Meanwhile, the island has become a wonderland of red lemons. A quirky city has evolved with an economy based on these fabulously sweet red lemons, attracting people from all over the world. Staake uses a wide color palette with exaggerated shapes and people; his geometric forms are vividly cartoonish and exuberant, yet deceptively simple. Imaginative use of perspective and the multihued, varying sized text add flair. The energetic city is filled with visual and verbal humor, and the important message is subtly conveyed. Pair with some lemonade and perhaps a muffin, and enjoy the depth of meaning behind this computer-enhanced visual feast. (Picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2006

ISBN: 0-375-83593-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Golden Books/Random

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2006

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THE BOY WHO LOVED WORDS

A charmingly prolix tall tale of a boy so word-obsessed that he collects new words on slips of paper. They bulge from his pockets, float around his head and fill his world. Classmates nickname Selig “Wordsworth” and give him a word for his collection: “oddball.” The discovery that his purpose in life is to share his carefully chosen words with others leads to success and love. And, “if, one day, . . . the perfect word just seems to come to you . . . you’ll know that Selig is near.” Schotter’s words are enlivened by Potter’s distinctively naïve figures, all placed in settings in which words and labels are scattered about in a way that invites close inspection and promotes purposeful inquiry. It all adds up to an *exultant encounter, chockablock with tintinnabulating gusto (*see tantalizing glossary appended). A gift to precocious children and teachers as well. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 28, 2006

ISBN: 0-375-83601-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2006

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Whether in hand or on shelf, this one’s sure to make a splash anywhere and everywhere.

I'M ON IT!

From the Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! series

A frog tries to do everything a goat does, too.

Goat asks Frog to look at them before declaring “I’m ON it!” while balancing atop a tree stump near a pond. After an “Oooh!” and a “You know what?” Frog leaps off their lily pad to balance on a rock: “I’m on it, too!” Goat grabs a prop so that they can be both “on it AND beside it.” (It may take young readers a little bit to realize there are two its.) So does Frog. The competition continues as Frog struggles to mimic overconfident Goat’s antics. In addition to on and beside, the pair adds inside, between, under, and more. Eventually, it all gets to be too much for Frog to handle, so Frog falls into the water, resumes position on the lily pad, and declares “I am OVER it” while eating a fly. In an act of solidarity, Goat jumps in, too. In Tsurumi’s first foray into early readers she pares down her energetic, colorful cartoon style to the bare essentials without losing any of the madcap fun. Using fewer than 80 repeated words (over 12 of which are prepositions), the clever text instructs, delights, and revels in its own playfulness. Color-coded speech bubbles (orange for Goat, green for Frog) help match the dialogue with each speaker. Like others in the Elephant & Piggie Like Reading series, Elephant and Piggie metafictively bookend the main narrative with hilariously on-the-nose commentary.

Whether in hand or on shelf, this one’s sure to make a splash anywhere and everywhere. (Early reader. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 11, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-368-06696-9

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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