DRIP, DROP

Weeks continues her watery-themed flow of beginning readers (Splish, Splash!, not reviewed) with this entry in the I Can Read Book series. A charmingly domesticated rodent named Pip Squeak is struggling with that perplexing problem every homeowner dreads: the drips and drops and plips and plops of a leaky roof in a major rainstorm. Poor Pip Squeak is ready to snooze in yellow-striped pajamas and dapper bathrobe, longing to rest his head on his pillow printed with slices of Swiss cheese. Instead, he spends his entire night racing from one dripping leak to another, using every available container to catch the drops. The story is told in simple, short sentences with repeating phrases, picture clues, and a variety of simple rhyme schemes that help new readers predict the text. The straightforward but amusing story and large, clear illustrations also make Drip, Drop an appropriate choice for a group story session for preschoolers, perhaps for a thematic story hour focusing on mice or water. Manning’s (Cindy Ellen, p. 636, etc.) droll illustrations use a contemporary palette of mango and lavender, with lots of light blue raindrops, and she fashions an appealing personality for the unfortunate mouse, who finally gets to nap in the morning when the sun comes up. It’s hard to create a strong easy reader that works as both a teaching tool and an effective picture book, but Pip Squeak has the muscle to carry it off. A solid choice for the easy reader shelves in both public and school libraries. (Junior Library Guild selection) (Easy reader. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 31, 2000

ISBN: 0-06-028523-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2000

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A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

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BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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A culturally intricate slice of a lupine courier’s life.

¡VAMOS! LET'S GO TO THE MARKET

From the ¡Vamos! series

Little Lobo and his dog, Bernabé, journey through a Mexican mercado delivering diverse goods to a variety of booths.

With the aid of red words splattered throughout the spreads as labels, Raúl the Third gives an introduction to Spanish vocabulary as Little Lobo, an anthropomorphic wolf, leaves his house, fills his cart with objects from his warehouse, and delivers them to the market’s vendors. The journey also serves as a crash course in Mexican culture, as the images are packed with intertextual details such as food, traditional games, and characters, including Cantinflas, Frida Khalo, and Juan Gabriel. Readers acquainted with Raúl the Third’s characters from his Lowriders series with author Cathy Camper will appreciate cameos from familiar characters. As he makes his rounds, Little Lobo also collects different artifacts that people offer in exchange for his deliveries of shoe polish, clothespins, wood, tissue paper, paintbrushes, and a pair of golden laces. Although Raúl the Third departs from the ball-pen illustrations that he is known for, his depiction of creatures and critters peppering the borderland where his stories are set remains in his trademark style. The softer hues in the illustrations (chosen by colorist Bay) keep the busy compositions friendly, and the halftone patterns filling the illustrations create foregrounds and backgrounds reminiscent of Roy Lichtenstein’s pointillism.

A culturally intricate slice of a lupine courier’s life. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-55726-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Versify/HMH

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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