Captures a day at the beach in hysterical dino style.

SEA REX

Idle’s Cretaceous dinos, having learned tea etiquette and some important guidelines for camping trips (Tea Rex, 2013; Camp Rex, 2014), now tackle the beach.

As in previous outings, the text seems lifted straight from a guidebook: “You never know what treasures you may find. / Even the smallest shell… // can contain the ocean’s mighty roar!” The tongue-in-cheek illustrations are the stars, though, this one showing the T. Rex (an overgrown tyke) yanking on a “shell” he’s found, which is really the nose horn of a triceratops. Other hysterical highlights include the T. Rex’s sunburn, the dramatic rescue of Cordelia’s brother’s beloved teddy bear (stolen by sea gulls), and the unlucky Cordelia’s many scrapes. Beachgoers can relate to almost every bit of advice here, from not swimming right after eating to jumping feet first, though their own beach adventures may pale in comparison to the ones depicted in Idle’s Prismacolor pencil illustrations, which depict an expanse of sand devoid of other human beachgoers. Still, the sand castle–building and wave riding and pesky sea gulls will be very familiar, as will that wonderful feeling at the end of the day when calm settles as the sun sets.

Captures a day at the beach in hysterical dino style. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 26, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-670-78574-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Feb. 23, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

As insubstantial as hot air.

THE WORLD NEEDS WHO YOU WERE MADE TO BE

A diverse cast of children first makes a fleet of hot air balloons and then takes to the sky in them.

Lifestyle maven Gaines uses this activity as a platform to celebrate diversity in learning and working styles. Some people like to work together; others prefer a solo process. Some take pains to plan extensively; others know exactly what they want and jump right in. Some apply science; others demonstrate artistic prowess. But “see how beautiful it can be when / our differences share the same sky?” Double-page spreads leading up to this moment of liftoff are laid out such that rhyming abcb quatrains typically contain one or two opposing concepts: “Some of us are teachers / and share what we know. / But all of us are learners. / Together is how we grow!” In the accompanying illustration, a bespectacled, Asian-presenting child at a blackboard lectures the other children on “balloon safety.” Gaines’ text has the ring of sincerity, but the sentiment is hardly an original one, and her verse frequently sacrifices scansion for rhyme. Sometimes it abandons both: “We may not look / or work or think the same, / but we all have an / important part to play.” Swaney’s delicate, pastel-hued illustrations do little to expand on the text, but they are pretty. (This book was reviewed digitally with 11.2-by-18.6-inch double-page spreads viewed at 70.7% of actual size.)

As insubstantial as hot air. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4003-1423-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tommy Nelson

Review Posted Online: Jan. 19, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A sweet gift to praise spirited individuality, this choice encourages readers to dream big. Let those sparkles fly! (Picture...

HAPPY DREAMER

Displaying his distinctive voice and images, Reynolds celebrates the joys and challenges of being a creative spirit.

“I am a HAPPY DREAMER,” cheers a thin, spiky-haired white boy as he flies skyward, streaming yellow swirls of sparkles. This little “dreamer maximus” piles on the energy with colors and noise and the joy-filled exuberance he has for life. “Wish you could HEAR inside my head / TRUMPETY, ZIGZAG JAZZ!” With clear honesty, he shares that the world tells him to be quiet, to focus and pay attention. Like a roller-coaster ride, Reynolds’ text and illustrations capture the energetic side of creativity and the gloom of cleaning up the messes that come with it while providing a wide vocabulary to describe emotional brilliance and resilience. The protagonist makes no apologies for expressing his feelings and embracing his distinct view of the world. This makes him happy. The book finishes with a question to readers: “What kind of dreamer are you?” Hinging outward, the double-page spread opens to four panels, each with a dozen examples of multiracial children being happy and being dreamers, showing inspiring possibilities for exploration. The best way, of course, is to “just BE YOU.”

A sweet gift to praise spirited individuality, this choice encourages readers to dream big. Let those sparkles fly! (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-545-86501-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more