Review by New York Times Review
Two brothers are determined to find "something spectacular" in this clever second collaboration between Barnett and Klassen (after "Extra Yarn," a Caldecott Honor book). As Sam and Dave apply shovels to dirt, their hole grows and grows, but their goal keeps eluding them. The prose is deadpan; the joke's all in Klassen's winsomely smudgy illustrations: There are gigantic jewels buried everywhere, except in the paths the boys dig. The dog, meanwhile, is after a prize of his own. HUG MACHINE Written and illustrated by Scott Campbell. 32 pp. Atheneum. $16.99. (Picture book; ages 2 to 8) The unnamed little boy who narrates this sweet romp has declared himself the Hug Machine. Look out! No one and nothing is safe from his embrace - not his family, not a policeman, not even the ice cream truck and a porcupine. As his hug-objects get more and more unlikely, a pizza break is called for. Campbell keeps the comic effect going, and his watercolor illustrations of the big-eyed, long-armed boy have a rough-hewn charm that makes all the hugging seem anything but mushy. CATCH THAT COOKIE! By Hallie Durand. Illustrated by David Small. 32 pp. Dial. $17.99. (Picture book; ages 3 to 6) Marshall, a serious-minded preschooler, knows that ginger-bread men "can't run for real." But when his class bakes a batch, they disappear from the oven, leaving a rhyming clue to their whereabouts. A treasure hunt ensues, with more clues ("You thought we might be slow 'cause we're only made of dough"); the little guys end up asleep in a doll bed - for the moment. In Small's spirited illustrations, the children, their teacher and the "G-men" all burst with spice and verve. DOJO DAYCARE Written and illustrated by Chris Tougas. 32 pp. Owlkids. $16.95. (Picture book; ages 3 to 7) Day care is a dojo, its little citizens black-outfitted, high-kicking ninjas who run riot over the place in this fast-paced rhyming tale: "No one listens to the Master./Story time is a disaster," Tougas writes. It takes "one little voice" to remind the ninjas about "honor, kindness and respect," and all that madcap energy is put to use tidying up. Back home, where parents and even pets are swathed in ninja black, too, the children sign off with an amusing and appropriate "back-flip into comfy beds." TELEPHONE By Mac Barnett. Illustrated by Jen Corace. 32 pp. Chronicle. $16.99. (Picture book; ages 4 to 8) "Tell Peter: Fly home for dinner." That's the opening of this raucous avian take on the old-school children's game, in which the action takes place, naturally, on a telephone wire. On each page, a new bird fumbles the message, which gets increasingly alarming: "Put your wet socks in the dryer," is one thing, "Something smells like fire!" quite another. Co race's illustrations are both delicate and lively, bringing humor and personality to the worlds of the humans, below, and the birds, above. ONLINE A slide show of this week's illustrated books at nytimes.com/books
Copyright (c) The New York Times Company [September 28, 2014]
Review by School Library Journal Review
PreS-Gr 1-When busy ninja moms and dads drop off their little ninjas at the Dojo Daycare, it isn't long before-"KABOOM! KAPOW!"-a full-blown ninja riot breaks out over toys and again at lunch. Each time, the Master calls out, "Quiet! It's time for you to all reflect/On honor, kindness, and respect." Unfortunately, the admonition doesn't stick until a storytime debacle leaves the Master practically in tears. Then, despite his previous riotous behavior, one little ninja takes control of the situation using the Master's own words to inspire his companions. "Every ninja understands,/And fists turn into helping hands/As little ninjas work as one,/Undoing all that they have done." Then the remorseful little ninjas go home and head to bed and dream of ninja moves they'll make tomorrow. Tougas's energetic rhyming text is matched by his action-packed illustrations. There is much to see in each spread, but ample white space assures that viewers won't be overwhelmed. His ninjas are dressed all in black with only their hands, feet, and eyes showing, yet they still manage to be expressive. Nice touches of humor include a well-used teddy bear and a family's pets dressed in ninja attire. A fun addition.-Catherine Callegari, Gay-Kimball Library, Troy, NH (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
Ninja training begins early, but before any power moves are taught, young ones must first learn to control their emotionspractical advice for any 3-year-old. The morning starts swiftly, as families drop down from nothing but thin airan appropriate entrance for ninjas. The children bow, and all seems well, until "KABOOM! KAPOW!" Little feet and fists kick up clouds of dust as the ninjas push and pull and fight over toys. Master claps his hands and yells, "QUIET!" He pleads, "It is time for you to all reflect / On honor, kindness, and respect." (Delightfully, Master sounds an awful lot like Miss Clavell.) Order is restoreduntil the lunch gong is rung. "KABOOM! KAPOW!" Udon goes flying. Chaos ensues yet again at storytime. The weary Master slumps in defeat. But he may have imparted more wisdom than he thought, as suddenly, one little ninja steps up to stop the riot. Tougas' black-clad tots are alert and ready to pounceand when they do, it's a flurry of action. The rhyming text does well to keep up. Added details of one poor, masked teddy bear's increasingly mangled state and a particularly gassy ninja are fun to spot. Day care is full of covert purposes, ninja or not; this rollicking read-aloud will fit right in. (Picture book. 3-6) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.