In light, joyful poems, Heidbreeder explores simple childhood experiences, taking readers from morning (“Riffle- rustle,/ feed down-pound./ Another day/ has rolled around”) to bedtime (“Chitter-chatter./ Monkey-tricks./ Fall asleep/ in three quick ticks”). Smith’s digitally colored pencil drawings feature children with oversize heads and puny limbs at play, at rest, and at the dinner table (manners and playing nicely pop up as poem topics). The bite-size length of the poems, frequent use of evocative onomatopoeia, and inviting imagery add up to an accessible and entertaining collection for preschoolers. Ages 3–7. (Sept.)
- Janice DeLong
With lilting verse, Heidbreder encourages young readers to become engaged in the art of poetry. From early morning to the close of day, his thirty rhymes follow very busy children, their pets, siblings, and friends through child-friendly activities. Using correct manners, sharing, cloud-watching, enjoying nature, playing in mud puddles, and even getting angry and getting over it are each expressed in four rhyming lines, plus the punch line which is often stated in onomatopoeia. Children who have not thought of poetry as a part of their daily routine may discover that literature truly is a reflection of life. Smith's lively illustrations with abundant white space, demonstrate each verse with just the right mood. Each of these short poems could become a chant to move children through a busy school day, or encourage simple tasks to be accomplished at home with rhythm and fun. This volume will add a new dimension to home and school collections. Reviewer: Janice DeLong
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3—Heidbreder knows his audience and how to prompt a gush of giggles and tickles from young children. Just five terse lines distill a moment of a young child's day, from waking up, getting out of bed, to watching clouds, those "Puffy stuffies,/dragon drifters,/dueling dogs-/sky shape-shifters" to getting into bed at day's end. There's plenty of onomatopoeia at its silliest: "Slip-slap-lick" is the first line of "Doggie Hi," and "Into PJs" begins, "Giggle-wiggle./Jump-in jiggle." In support of early literacy, the poems offer a sequenced narrative as well as their own "noise" that children can perform and memorize: "Giggle-wiggle./Jump-in jiggle./PJs backward-/twisty-twiggle." Cartoon, mixed-media depictions of each moment add humor and appeal. The children seem to float with their bubblelike, very round, cheery heads and simplified bodies. There's a lightness and ease to the drawings and plenty of white space with an eye to negative space and design. This is a well-conceived and executed book that would pair nicely with Loris Lesynski's Zigzag: Zoems for Zindergarten (Annick, 2004).—Teresa Pfeifer, Alfred Zanetti Montessori Magnet School, Springfield, MA
Thirty poetic firecrackers chronicle a young child's day. Combining themes that worked well in the popular Crocodiles Say… (2005) and Crocodiles Play! (2009, both illustrated by Rae Maté), here Heidbreder joins forces with illustrator Smith to capture children at their most active and carefree as they go about their routines from dawn to bedtime. Together, these Canadian creators paint a warm portrait of suburban daily life, with kids enjoying their friends, siblings, pets, sunshine--all the basic pleasures of the moment. Heidbreder's five-line sonic bursts, such as "Now Back Down," are generally not contemplative poems but employ tight trochaic dimeter and trimeter to underscore the joy to be had in getting out in the world and exploring: "Bummy-wiggle. / Slip-down…THUD! / Gurpy-slurpy. / Hello, mud! / Plop!" And Smith's simple, retro illustrations, rendered in pencil and colored digitally, ably depict the action of various scenes, using bold colors and spare facial expressions to show children, pets and yard animals like rabbits and birds at play. Notably absent from these illustrations are adults, whose influence is only subtly felt, as providers of a picnic or dinnertime spread, or heard in reconciling a playground spat or lending behavioral suggestions (especially regarding table manners). While in no way pushing the creative envelope, this light-verse picture book still has much to offer pre-readers looking for affirmation of what constitutes a full day of fun. (Picture book/poetry. 3-7)
Robert Heidbreder is an award-winning children's poet and author. His many books include I Wished for a Unicorn, Eenie Meenie Manitoba and Drumheller Dinosaur Dance. Robert spent thirty years as a primary school teacher and, in 2002, won the Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Lori Joy Smith is an illustrator and fine artist whose work has been exhibited in galleries across Canada and the United States. Her illustrations have appeared on greeting cards and in Chirp, American Girl, Teen and Today's Parent magazines, among other places. Lori enjoys knitting, drawing and sewing. She lives with her family in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.