A HOLE IS TO DIG

When a book of imaginative nature such as this comes along, we get all excited, expect it to be top flight. Though the definitions in this "First Book of Definitions" may bring a few squeals of delight from the young mind making its first associations between the things he knows and what they make him think about- they are not up to the level of warmth and humor of Ruth Krauss' other work. Attractively laid out, each small page has on it one or two phrases- each accompanied by the miniscule drawings of Maurice Sendak reminiscent of the old British picture books. The funniest definition: "Hunh! Rugs are so dogs have napkins". An ordinary definition, and there are a lot like this one: "A mountain is to go to the top". One that calls for a mental leap: "A principal is to take out splinters". A just plain silly one: "Little stones are for little children to gather up and put in little piles". Lastly, some imaginative ones, and these will set kids smiling and perhaps thinking up a whole lot of their own: A castle is to build in the sand", "A hat is to wear on the train", "Eyebrows are to go over your eyes", "Buttons are to keep people warm". They are cute and they are thought provoking. What they should be is more thought provoking.

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 1952

ISBN: 1595190457

Page Count: -

Publisher: Harper

Review Posted Online: Oct. 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1952

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A comical, fresh look at crayons and color

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT

Duncan wants to draw, but instead of crayons, he finds a stack of letters listing the crayons’ demands in this humorous tale.

Red is overworked, laboring even on holidays. Gray is exhausted from coloring expansive spaces (elephants, rhinos and whales). Black wants to be considered a color-in color, and Peach? He’s naked without his wrapper! This anthropomorphized lot amicably requests workplace changes in hand-lettered writing, explaining their work stoppage to a surprised Duncan. Some are tired, others underutilized, while a few want official titles. With a little creativity and a lot of color, Duncan saves the day. Jeffers delivers energetic and playful illustrations, done in pencil, paint and crayon. The drawings are loose and lively, and with few lines, he makes his characters effectively emote. Clever spreads, such as Duncan’s “white cat in the snow” perfectly capture the crayons’ conundrum, and photographic representations of both the letters and coloring pages offer another layer of texture, lending to the tale’s overall believability.

A comical, fresh look at crayons and color . (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-399-25537-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more