THE FOOT-STOMPING ADVENTURES OF CLEMENTINE SWEET

The Sweet family has no idea of the havoc the youngest of 14 children will create when they get so involved in their foot-stomping, rip-roaring reunion that they forget all about little Clementine’s sixth birthday. Clementine uses some real foot-stomping to get her own attention from the citizens of Lovett, Texas. When a man named Kyle and his band arrives, he’s able to avoid Clementine’s foot-stomping by using a few waltz steps. Being a sweet-stepping dancer brings Clementine a new brand of attention and subsequently Clementine uses her foot-stomping talents to save the town from a devastating twister. Round-faced characters populate the cheerily bright acrylic illustrations that contribute to the tale’s energy. Adults who notice the musical allusions and the too-silly names (Chili Pepper, Carmel, Coconut) will likely groan but young readers will simply read a tale that will make them smile. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 22, 2004

ISBN: 0-618-24746-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2004

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A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

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BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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RAIN SCHOOL

It takes a village to make a school. In Chad, big brothers and sisters lead the way for younger children on the first day of school. Little Thomas is full of questions. When he and the other children arrive, there are no classrooms and no desks. But the teacher's there, holding a trowel. "We will build our school," she declares. Everyone sets to work, making mud bricks that dry in the sun and a roof out of grass and saplings. Thomas loves his lessons; every day he learns something new. At the end of the school year, the minds of the students "are fat with knowledge." And just in time: The rainy season arrives and makes short work of the schoolhouse. Come September, they'll start all over. Rumford's illustrations make great use of color, dark brown skin and bright shirts, shorts and dresses against golden backgrounds, the hues applied in smudgy layers that infuse each scene with warmth—until the gray rains arrive. It's a nifty social-studies lesson tucked into a warm tale of community. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-547-24307-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 1, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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