Still, nifty. (Informational picture book. 3-6)

EIGHT DAYS GONE

The momentous Apollo 11 mission unfolds in pictures and rhyming verse.

Eighteen two-page spreads illustrate the story, and McReynolds tells it in tight four-line verses using identical rhyme schemes, beginning with "Hundreds gather. / Hot July. / Spaceship ready— / set to fly." The rocket blasts into space, begins its orbit, and, after a uniform check, the lunar module disconnects and lands safely on the moon. The control room watches intently. Michael Collins stays with Columbia, "Waits, observing, / tracking trip." Neil Armstrong is the first to walk on the moon ("Armstrong makes his / one small step. / Giant leap from / years of prep"), and Buzz Aldrin? Well ... "Edwin Aldrin / hops around. / Boot prints left on / ashen ground." O'Rourke's richly detailed illustrations are done in oils, with black, white and many shades of gray predominating. They often resemble photographs, with the exception of the people, who look jarringly like Playskool figures. The story has often been written for children before, but never as comprehensively yet concisely for the very young. The rhyme scheme and flat perspectives, if not palette, recall Dan Yaccarino's splendid Zoom! Zoom! Zoom! I'm Off to the Moon (1997). An author's note and bibliography extend the experience, though the books listed notably omit the many fine titles published recently on the subject.

Still, nifty.  (Informational picture book. 3-6)  

Pub Date: July 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-58089-364-0

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 2, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2012

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A TREE IS NICE

A nursery school approach to a general concept. "A tree is nice"- Why? Because..."We can climb the tree...play pirate ship...pick the apples...build playhouses out of the leaves. A tree is nice to hang a swing in...Birds build nests in trees... Sticks come off trees...People have picnics there too"...etc. etc. One follows the give and take of a shared succession of reactions to what a tree- or trees- can mean. There is a kind of poetic simplicity that is innate in small children. Marc Simont has made the pictures, half in full color, and they too have a childlike directness (with an underlying sophistication that adults will recognize). Not a book for everyone -but those who like it will like it immensely. The format (6 x 11) makes it a difficult book for shelving, so put it in the "clean hands" section of flat books. Here's your first book for Arbor Day use- a good spring and summer item.

Pub Date: June 15, 1956

ISBN: 978-0-06-443147-7

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Harper

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1956

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As brilliant as can be.

SUN FLOWER LION

A sun, a flower, and a lion. They look similar, no?

Introduced in a wordless panel before the title page, the three figures bear at least two shapes in common. They’re also the same combination of warm yellow and (somehow just as warm) white, outlined in thick black line that pops against the muted yellow background. The text, divided into six short chapters, goes on to introduce the figures in isolation: “This is the sun. / Can you see it?” the narrator asks before going on to proclaim that the sun “is as bright as a flower.” When the flower is introduced, it’s compared to a lion. The lion? He isn’t compared to anything but instead smells the flower and warms himself in the sun. In the next chapter, the lion dreams that the flowers are sun-sized cookies. He wakes up hungry and runs home as fast as he can. Can readers spot him on the page? Using a vocabulary of fewer than 60 words and their variants—and a visual vocabulary of even fewer shapes and colors—Henkes creates an impeccably designed story that’s rewarding for toddlers and early readers alike. The repetitive structure and tone call to mind the playful simplicity of Mem Fox and Judy Horacek’s Where Is the Green Sheep? (2004). With imagination at its center, this participatory read-aloud also cleverly introduces the concept of simile (“It looks like a lion”) and metaphor (“The flowers are cookies”).

As brilliant as can be. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-286610-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

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