A wondrous wordless picture book that will make readers want to grab a sand bucket and head to the beach.

A DAY FOR SANDCASTLES

An idyllic day at the beach silently unfolds.

As they did in Over the Shop (2021), Lawson and Leng create ample space for the reader to supply the story. The artwork begins and ends with lovely vistas of sea gulls on a deserted beach and a White family—a mother, father, and three kids—arriving and departing by bus. An image of the older boy running through dunes and beach grass, waving his shirt like a flag, sets the tone of exuberant joy. Everyone on this beach is cheerful and relaxed. Readers see beachgoers of various ages, skin tones, and body types engaged in sundry activities, including swimming, wading, taking photos, and playing catch with a beach ball. The siblings build and rebuild a sand castle, molding, shaping, and decorating it with found treasures only to have it repeatedly destroyed by the tide or sunbathers. The parents don’t try to solve this problem, instead allowing the children to persist and decide whether and where to rebuild. The family has a picnic lunch and there is an encounter with a particularly assertive sea gull. Subtle changes in the position of the sun and the shrinking beach as the tide moves in signal the passage of time. Single-page and double-page montages consisting of rows of square and rectangular panels are used to compress time, highlight characters’ emotions, and create bridges between scenes. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A wondrous wordless picture book that will make readers want to grab a sand bucket and head to the beach. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: May 10, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0842-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2022

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A perfect story to enjoy on a “no bones day.”

NOODLE AND THE NO BONES DAY

Graziano tells the story of his TikTok-famous pug, Noodle.

Noodle is a silly, stubborn old pug who likes walks and snacks. “He’s a pug who knows what he wants.” Jonathan, his light-skinned owner, loves taking Noodle for walks and sharing snacks—they are a perfect pair. But one day, when it’s time for a walk, Noodle just lies in his dog bed. Even when Jonathan tries to make Noodle sit up, Noodle flops back down. “It’s like he doesn’t have bones!” says Jonathan. Noodle doesn’t seem sick—he just wants snacks and to stay in bed. Finally, Jonathan asks if Noodle would just like to snuggle instead and receives a strong affirmative from the drowsy pug. Together Noodle and his human enjoy a relaxing “no bones day” and learn an important lesson about rest and why it matters for silly, stubborn old pugs and for the humans who love them, too. Many may already be familiar with Noodle through his TikTok videos (if Noodle remains standing when Graziano lifts him, it’s a “bones day”; among Noodle’s followers, a “no bones day” has come to mean a day for self-care and taking it easy). However, this story stands alone and will likely create new fans for a long time to come. Hand-drawn and painted digitally, Tavis’ illustrations rely on a muted palette and rounded images, depicting an appropriately cozy world. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A perfect story to enjoy on a “no bones day.” (author's note) (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 7, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66592-710-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2022

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A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.

MAMA BUILT A LITTLE NEST

Echoing the meter of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” Ward uses catchy original rhymes to describe the variety of nests birds create.

Each sweet stanza is complemented by a factual, engaging description of the nesting habits of each bird. Some of the notes are intriguing, such as the fact that the hummingbird uses flexible spider web to construct its cup-shaped nest so the nest will stretch as the chicks grow. An especially endearing nesting behavior is that of the emperor penguin, who, with unbelievable patience, incubates the egg between his tummy and his feet for up to 60 days. The author clearly feels a mission to impart her extensive knowledge of birds and bird behavior to the very young, and she’s found an appealing and attractive way to accomplish this. The simple rhymes on the left page of each spread, written from the young bird’s perspective, will appeal to younger children, and the notes on the right-hand page of each spread provide more complex factual information that will help parents answer further questions and satisfy the curiosity of older children. Jenkins’ accomplished collage illustrations of common bird species—woodpecker, hummingbird, cowbird, emperor penguin, eagle, owl, wren—as well as exotics, such as flamingoes and hornbills, are characteristically naturalistic and accurate in detail.

A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.   (author’s note, further resources) (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2116-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2014

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