Delicious! (Picture book. 4-8)

FEAST OF PEAS

Jiva, a hardworking gardener in India, eagerly anticipates his peas.

“Plump peas, sweet peas, / Lined-up-in-the-shell peas. / Peas to munch, peas to crunch, / I want a feast of peas for lunch.” He hoes, he waters, he weeds—and he waits. As his pea blossoms become pods, he builds a scarecrow from sugar cane stalks, an old dhoti, and a red turban to keep the birds away. Jiva’s neighbor, Rujvi, is mighty interested in Jiva’s pea harvest: “Jiva, some of your peas look plump,” he says. Jiva assures Rujvi that he will pick them the next morning, but when he goes to do so, they are gone! Rujvi suggests the rabbits might have eaten the peas, so Jiva builds a fence. When the same thing happens again a few days later, Rujvi suggests that a ghost might have eaten the peas. Jiva is perplexed: Neither a scarecrow nor a fence will keep out a ghost. Jiva finally realizes he has been tricked by Rujvi and concocts an elaborate ruse to catch him in the act. After a mad dash through the village, Rujvi apologizes and makes a feast of peas—“peas with rice and spice, peas wrapped in mashed potato pockets, and peas swimming in soup”—for Jiva. Sheth’s use of language (poetry and repetition) is a singular delight. Equally charming are Ebbeler’s illustrations, which include lots of funny details, with exaggerated and elongated cartoon-style figures that make the most of the story’s humor.

Delicious! (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68263-135-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A solid if message-driven conversation starter about the hard parts of learning.

THE MAGICAL YET

Children realize their dreams one step at a time in this story about growth mindset.

A child crashes and damages a new bicycle on a dark, rainy day. Attempting a wheelie, the novice cyclist falls onto the sidewalk, grimacing, and, having internalized this setback as failure, vows to never ride again but to “walk…forever.” Then the unnamed protagonist happens upon a glowing orb in the forest, a “thought rearranger-er”—a luminous pink fairy called the Magical Yet. This Yet reminds the child of past accomplishments and encourages perseverance. The second-person rhyming couplets remind readers that mistakes are part of learning and that with patience and effort, children can achieve. Readers see the protagonist learn to ride the bike before a flash-forward shows the child as a capable college graduate confidently designing a sleek new bike. This book shines with diversity: racial, ethnic, ability, and gender. The gender-indeterminate protagonist has light brown skin and exuberant curly locks; Amid the bustling secondary cast, one child uses a prosthesis, and another wears hijab. At no point in the text is the Yet defined as a metaphor for a growth mindset; adults reading with younger children will likely need to clarify this abstract lesson. The artwork is powerful and detailed—pay special attention to the endpapers that progress to show the Yet at work.

A solid if message-driven conversation starter about the hard parts of learning. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-368-02562-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion/LBYR

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more