Water in the Park: A Book about Water & the Times of Day by Emily Jenkins. Illustrated by Stephanie Graegin. Schwartz & Wade, 2013.
Over the course of a summer day in a city park, time is measured by the hour as dramas and pleasures small and large unfold. “Just before six o’clock, turtles settle on rocks. They warm their turtle shells in the light. Good morning park!” Dogs and their humans show up between six and seven, when the first babies appear. By ten, the playground is packed with children and caregivers. At eleven, park volunteers water the flowerbeds. At noon, “it’s time for lunch. Maybe a nap.” And so it goes, hour by hour, on through the afternoon and into the evening. A few children (and dogs) show up several times throughout the day, but the park itself, with its ever-changing cast of characters and myriad, constantly varied activities, is the focus, as is the steady advance of an unseen but ever-present clock toward day’s end, marked by darkness. “Good night, park.” Emily Jenkins’s engagingly detailed and perfectly paced narrative is set against Stepahanie Graegin’s equally wonderful illustrations. There’s so much to look at and discover across the pages of the story, and the hours of the day. © Cooperative Children’s Book Center
Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County by Janice Harrington. Illustrated by Shelley Jackson. Melanie Kroupa Books / Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007.
“Pruck! Pruck! . . . Squawkkk!” Despite Bigmama’s admonishment, a young African American girl can’t resist the chase when it comes to the family’s chickens. “I don’t want just any chicken. I want my favorite. Her feathers are shiny as a rained-on roof. She has high yellow stockings and long-fingered feet, and when she talks—‘Pruck! Pruck! Pruck!’—it sounds like pennies falling on a dinner plate.” Janice Harrington’s animated story pits the girl’s determination to embrace that standoffish chicken against the chicken’s own determination to evade capture. Harrington’s narrative flows with fresh, descriptive language and engaging use of hyperbole and onomatopoeia. Artist Shelley Jackson used materials suggestive of a rural or farm environment to create the chickens and other elements of her dynamic, richly textured illustrations. Her art is full of action and extends both the humor and overall appeal of this entertaining picture book. Highly Commended, 2008 Charlotte Zolotow Award © Cooperative Children’s Book Center
Ling & Ting Share a Birthday by Grace Lin. Little, Brown, 2013.
Ling and Ting are back, and getting ready to celebrate their birthdays. The not-quite-identical twins (they have slightly different haircuts) each get birthday shoes in the opening chapter of this beginning chapter book. But one pair is red and one pair is green, prompting them to wear one from each pair so they match. Perfect! In the five chapters that follow, birthday plans continue, highlighting how even though the girls like dressing the same, they have differentinterests (Ling, who likes to read, buys Ting a book; Ting, who likes to play with toys, buys Ling a yo-yo), and different ways of approaching a task (cake-baking success and failure), but their love for one another guarantees harmony in the end. Grace Lin’s follow-up to Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same! (Little, Brown, 2010) features lively, colorful illustrations. © Cooperative Children’s Book Center