From dawn to dusk, as represented in the handsomely painted endpapers, young children will want to visit this farm and...

OLD MIKAMBA HAD A FARM

A familiar text is adapted to use in an unfamiliar environment with happy results.

Old Mikamba’s game farm includes a host of animals from the African plains, including baboons, elephants and cheetahs. After the traditional e-i-e-i-o, the baboon cavorts and says, “ooh-ha-ha.” The elephant snorts, “baraaa-baraaa,” and the cheetah makes a “grrrr-grrrr” sound. It’s hardly a revolutionary formula, but the combination of the known and the unknown (Isadora introduces springboks and wildebeests), the amusing noises that each animal makes, and the exuberant collages incorporating woven fabrics, newsprint, and other materials all make for a winning strategy. Mikamba’s child helpers on the game farm appear from time to time, but the animals take center stage. Tidbits of information about the animals are presented at the end, but their ranges are omitted. Although these animals can be found in different parts of Africa, the game-park setting allows all of them to be found together.

From dawn to dusk, as represented in the handsomely painted endpapers, young children will want to visit this farm and “grunt-grunt” with the hippos and “chirp-chirp” with the ostriches. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 31, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-399-25740-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2013

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A cozy read for bibliophiles.

SNOWMAN'S STORY

With echoes of “Frosty the Snowman” in the background, a snowman’s storybook within this wordless book delivers a comic wintertime romp.

Woodland creatures build a snowman, giving him a green book as a finishing touch. This addition comes right after a windswept top hat lands on his head, vivifying him à la Frosty. Hidden inside is a rabbit (it is a magic hat, after all); attentive readers will have seen the hat first on frontmatter pages and then with the bunny in the double-page spreads before the early ones devoted to the snowman’s construction. The snowman reads his book aloud to the animals, with the rabbit surreptitiously listening in, its ears poking out of the top of the hat. When the others all drift off to sleep, the bunny emerges and steals away with the book. A chase ensues across snowy terrain and through a series of pages (perhaps a few too many for good pacing) replete with comic-style panels. When the animals and snowman confront the rabbit in its tree-hollow home, its motivation for book thievery is revealed: This bunny has a family and wishes to share the story with its children. All’s well that ends well, and the animals convene (safely outside and away from the rabbit family’s crackling fireplace) to read together.

A cozy read for bibliophiles. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4778-4787-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Oct. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2014

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A funny but touching story about learning to accept who you are.

LOVEBIRD LOU

A green lovebird—green with envy—wants more than he can have.

All his life, Lou, a lovable young lovebird, has known little of the world beyond his doting flock and the corner of the beautiful island they call home. Then one day, he visits the other side of the island and discovers many other wonderful birds, from pelicans to flamingos to nightingales. Lou observes that each species has a unique and amazing gift, so much so that being a lovebird seems to pale in comparison. Desiring to be extraordinary, Lou attempts to learn the various skills of the feathered race. His efforts prove to be flat failures, and the other bird breeds watch on in dismay, but his fellow lovebirds enthusiastically praise him for his efforts. “We love you, Lou!” they squawk at every turn. Still, Lou grows frustrated and decides that being a bird is not for him. After a disastrous last-ditch attempt to transcend his perceived ordinariness, Lou finds himself lonely and discouraged and realizes that being loved is the best gift of all. This entertaining picture book would be a wonderful read-aloud and discussion starter for early grade schoolers. The bright and colorful illustrations sparkle with humor, and many young readers will readily identify with Lou’s identity crisis.

A funny but touching story about learning to accept who you are. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 4, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-45494-188-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sterling Children's Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2021

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