Jun 13, 2021

A Pair of Powerful Picture Books by Kurt Cyrus

 With only a few comments here, I confidently recommend that you read and share these companion counting picture books, both written and illustrated by Kurt Cyrus.

A Christy Ottaviano Book: 2016

The first of this pair, released "all the way back in 2016" is BILLIONS OF BOOKS: A Counting Book About Bricks.

Both books are oversized, with expansive, colorful illustrations that impress with their sweeping scenes and intriguing specificity and detail. Both incorporate lighthearted and lively rhymed text, patterns of progression, topic-related terminology, and splashes of humor and wry twists.

Here are a few excerpts from Indiebound.org:

A Kirkus Best Picture Book of the Year
A JLG Selection
An Oregon Spirit Award Honor Book

"An amazing feat of architecture and artistry that kids will pore over long after the last brick has been laid."--Kirkus Reviewsstarred review

"Rollicking rhymes and elegant artwork should delight playroom block stackers and someday builders and architects alike."-Publishers Weeklystarred review.

A Christy Ottaviano Book: 2016

Now, in 2021, Cyrus is back with TRILLIONS OF TREES: A Counting and Planting Book. This time around the story involves a slip of the tongue, in which an order for trillium is misinterpreted to be "trillions of trees". The outrageous story unfolds with Cyrus's lively text, cleverly incorporated science information, and spreads that impress with relative scale, character inclusion, and concept development.

A leafy surprise awaits on the final turn, as various facts are shared by characters who peek out from among one of those trillion trees.

Again, this satisfying effort paid off with well-deserved praise:

Praise For Trillions Of Trees: A Counting And Planting Book

A Junior Library Guild Selection

This rhyming story playfully melds an often ignored counting concept—a trillion—with the importance of tree planting and preservation, while also introducing a great number of tree species to a young audience. Like Billions of Bricks, the story’s catchy, upbeat vibe reflects hard but necessary work, while the quick pace and energetic rhyme scheme both fascinates and instructs its young listeners about caring for trees. Illustrated with vibrant natural vistas to amplify quick, upbeat rhymes, Cyrus beckons early elementary readers to a newfound sense of the immensity and importance of trees in the world." —School Library JournalStarred Review

For building-block fans, tree-lovers, or anyone who appreciates the fun of a book that captivates while layering in learning, this is the pair for you.  

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