What adventure’s next? (Picture book. 4-7)

CAMP REX

Fresh from the pages of Tea Rex (2013), Cordelia, her younger brother and his teddy this time join their dino pals for a camping expedition.

Again limiting the text to sage words of wisdom—which sound remarkably like a true outdoorsy book about camping might—Idle lets the illustrations tell the tale. Once the hike and pitching of tents (most too small for dinos) are accomplished, things quickly degrade with “Learning about local flora and fauna can be great fun!” Berries, poison ivy and a hive of bees all play a role. A “refreshing…dip in a mountain lake” leads to some broken canoe paddles and a few fish for the campfire, where the singalong prompts Cordelia to stuff marshmallows in her ears. Especially hysterical for seasoned campers is the suggestion that “Before you fall asleep, it’s lovely to listen to the soothing sounds of the forest all around you.” And adult readers will have trouble containing their laughter when the book says, “In the morning, you’ll awake refreshed….” The final spread of “camping” in the backyard will soothe wee ones nervous about the wilds of nature. While the pictures are tongue-in-cheek funny, some are difficult to make out due to the flat colors and the hugeness of the dinos—they often exceed the size of the page. Still, this is certain to raise more than a few giggles from the camping enthusiasts in any audience.

What adventure’s next? (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 22, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-670-78573-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

This simple and sincere tale of working up courage to face fears makes quite a splash.

JABARI JUMPS

Young Jabari decides today is the day he is going to jump from the diving board, even though it’s a little high and a little scary.

Jabari’s father and baby sister accompany him to the swimming pool in the city, where Jabari has already made up his mind about today’s goal: jumping off the diving board. “I’m a great jumper,” he says, “so I’m not scared at all.” But that’s not entirely true. Readers see Jabari play the waiting game as the other children (a diverse bunch) make their ways past him in line. Once Jabari finally begins to climb up, he slyly remembers that he forgot to “stretch.” The stalling techniques don’t faze his dad, who sees an opportunity for a life lesson. “It’s okay to feel a little scared,” offers his dad at the side of the pool. With renewed will, Jabari returns to the towering diving board, ready to embrace the feat. In her debut, Cornwall places her loving black family at the center, coloring the swimming pool and park beyond in minty hues and adding whimsy with digitally collaged newspaper for skyscrapers. A bird’s-eye view of Jabari’s toes clinging to the edge of the diving board as he looks way, way down at the blue pool below puts readers in his head and in the action.

This simple and sincere tale of working up courage to face fears makes quite a splash. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 9, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7838-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Nice enough, but its twinkle is on the faint side.

TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE KID

A boy gets an unusual payoff after wishing on a star.

Sitting outside one night, Clyde notices a lone star in the sky. He recites the “Star light, star bright” incantation and makes a wish. Disappointed when it doesn’t come true, he returns home. But later, while he’s asleep, the star he’d wished on sneaks into his bedroom and makes a wish on him! Startled awake, Clyde wonders how to grant Star’s wish. He shares some ideas (and actual objects) with her: a game of checkers, tent camping, tossing a Frisbee, and walkie-talkies. Star likes them, but they’re not her wishes; Clyde confides there’s no one to enjoy them with—and wonders if perhaps Star had wished for a friend. No one will be surprised at what Clyde next confesses to Star. The pair winds up playing together and becoming besties. This is a sweet but thin and predictable story about making friends. Still, readers will appreciate meeting feisty, celestial Star. The author reaches for humor using colloquialisms (“freaked out”), and kids will like the comfortable familiarity that develops between the cheery protagonists. The colored-pencil illustrations are rendered in a limited palette of mostly dark blues and purples, appropriate to the nighttime setting. Star is a luminous, pale yellow with a white topknot and has a star-dappled aura around her. Purple-pj’d Clyde wears bunny slippers and presents White. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Nice enough, but its twinkle is on the faint side. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 3, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-399-17132-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more