FLORA’S SURPRISE!

Like Pat Hutchins’s Titch (1971) and its many successors, this unbridled charmer, which features the return of Flora (Flora’s Blanket, 2001, etc.), has this littlest member of her family making a distinctive contribution to a shared enterprise. Sent to the sidelines as Norah and Cora plant bulbs, and Sam, Tom, and Max spread seed, Flora finally collects a clay pot from her father and “plants” a brick in it—“I’m growing a house,” she explains. Everyone smiles indulgently. But guess who gets the last laugh? After a summer’s and a winter’s passages, Flora leads everyone out into the garden, and proudly shows off her handiwork, now a “house” for a nesting mother bird. Gliori pairs clean-lined, toddler-pleasing scenes of an affectionate clan of flop-eared bunnies in comfortable, colorfully patterned clothing to a large-type text; the whole episode glows with genuine, non-sticky affection, and will leave readers feeling as if they’ve just been hugged. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-439-45590-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2002

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TACKY AND THE WINTER GAMES

Lester’s Tacky is tacky, though he is even more a Society of Oddfellows unto himself, a pleasing misfit among his righteous penguin cohort of Goodly, Lovely, Angel, Neatly and Perfect. Tacky is joyously oblivious of their rectitude as they prepare for the penguin Winter Games, pumping iron and skipping rope as Tacky catches a few zzz’s and equips his exer-cycle with a horn and tassels, chows pizza and donuts as the others dutifully swallow their spinach (and Munsinger is perfect here, easily capturing both sniffyness and unbridled appetite). Tacky unintentionally subverts the rules of the Games, winning but losing as officials disqualify his unorthodox stratagems. Finally, his team grabs a victory despite the fact that Tacky ate the baton. A citizen of the deep cold, it’s another Frost that Tacky emulates, the one who recommends the road not taken. Tacky, the clueless role model, takes it all the time. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 24, 2005

ISBN: 0-618-55659-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Walter Lorraine/Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2005

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Sweet fare for bed- or naptimes, with a light frosting of natural history.

WOODLAND DREAMS

A sonorous, soporific invitation to join woodland creatures in bedding down for the night.

As in her Moon Babies, illustrated by Amy Hevron (2019), Jameson displays a rare gift for harmonious language and rhyme. She leads off with a bear: “Come home, Big Paws. / Berry picker / Honey trickster / Shadows deepen in the glen. / Lumber back inside your den.” Continuing in the same pattern, she urges a moose (“Velvet Nose”), a deer (“Tiny Hooves”), and a succession of ever smaller creatures to find their nooks and nests as twilight deepens in Boutavant’s woodsy, autumnal scenes and snow begins to drift down. Through each of those scenes quietly walks an alert White child (accompanied by an unusually self-controlled pooch), peering through branches or over rocks at the animals in the foregrounds and sketching them in a notebook. The observer’s turn comes round at last, as a bearded parent beckons: “This way, Small Boots. / Brave trailblazer / Bright stargazer / Cabin’s toasty. Blanket’s soft. / Snuggle deep in sleeping loft.” The animals go unnamed, leaving it to younger listeners to identify each one from the pictures…if they can do so before the verses’ murmurous tempo closes their eyes.

Sweet fare for bed- or naptimes, with a light frosting of natural history. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4521-7063-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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