Kirkus Review 4/21/2016

I received my Kirkus Review for Spring. Here it is in it’s entirety. SOO Exciting!


TITLE INFORMATION SPRING Dog Ear (34 pp.) $18.00 hardcover, $11.95 paperback ISBN: 978-1-4575-3852-0; June 2, 2015 BOOK REVIEW

Gerkman introduces young readers to a poem employing a variety of new springtime vocabulary words in this short but image-packed debut picture book. Despite a lingering chill, spring begins bringing green back to the world—every “tree and hill”—as this volume opens. Showing a lovely image of pink cherry blossoms blowing onto a garden arbor and catching on fern fronds on the next page, the volume offers children first a look at the changing plants, and then the assorted animals, that signify the spring season. Images of tadpoles, daffodils, tulips, and ducks should be familiar to residents of the Northern states. Then Gerkman, an accomplished illustrator, introduces a few rarer species: egrets and cormorants make their appearances, adding “their chorus to the mix.” After a wonderful list of sights and sounds in the natural world—and the man-made one, as the book mentions the smell of “fresh mown lawn”—the poem finishes on a note about the fleeting nature of the season: “Too soon, daylight hours will lengthen / And Spring will have gone.” Although the poetic nuances may go over the heads of young lap readers hearing the words aloud from their caretakers, the images are wonderfully sensory and accessible, whether it’s the quacks of ducks to their young or the smells of hyacinth and grass. Gerkman provides a glossary of some of the less familiar words at the end, although she omits words like “arbor” and “frond,” which, while depicted, are still likely to be unfamiliar to young readers and listeners. The illustrations throughout are a delight, particularly the wonderfully lifelike birds and detailed flowers. Children should gravitate to the tadpoles in the pond (decorated by the previous page’s cherry blossoms for a fun continuity), the ducklings, and the doe and her fawn, but adults will likely appreciate Gerkman’s efforts to achieve anatomical accuracy in rendering the smaller, active songbirds. The poem scans well, its rhythm never faltering under the sophisticated word choices. Appealing illustrations and strong sensory descriptions make this volume a superb choice for a calm, nighttime lap read or a unit on the seasons for lower elementary school classes.

Kirkus Indie, Kirkus Media LLC, 6411 Burleson Rd., Austin, TX 78744

Children's picture book, Uncategorized

A is for Action!

Went to the Golden Gate Conference of scbwi.org (Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators) at Asilomar in Pacific Grove this last weekend. Met lots of wonderful people, read and purchased delightful children’s books, and was part of a critique group.  My newest book in the works…is an ABC book full of VERBS! Received some good feedback that my A-J was fun and worked, but K-W needed some sprucing up and more visual images. I’ve taken the advice to heart. Here are a few of my re-worked letters:

O is for ogling an ostrich and offending an ocelot

P is for preening and posing and petting A LOT

Q is for quieting a quack and quelling a quip

R is for raising a ruckus and rending a rip


Anna Borenstein, Becky Levine & Tuky Reyes, thanks so much for your feedback!

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