The concept’s basically sound, and despite flaws, the book could be useful when combined with other resources.

PANCAKES TO PARATHAS

BREAKFAST AROUND THE WORLD

A roundup of traditional breakfast foods from around the world.

Brimming with foods—there’s Australia’s Vegemite on toast, Jamaica’s cornmeal porridge, and hagleslag (chocolate sprinkles) in the Netherlands—this colorful tome is a fun tribute to global foods and cultures. Each of the 12 countries has a dedicated two-page spread. One page is written in rhyme while the second page offers descriptions and cultural details in prose. Unfortunately, McGinty’s stunted rhymes break up the flow and detract from the book’s true potential. “Breakfast in Australia / is a black and salty paste. / Thinly spread on toasted bread… / It’s quite a shocking taste!” Most disappointing? McGinty loses a huge opportunity to encapsulate “breakfast around the world” by ignoring the plurality of America’s multicultural population. Americans don’t all eat bagels, cereal, or eggs and bacon for breakfast! Thank goodness for Suzuki’s playful illustrations. Attentive readers will spot lovely details beyond just food; the cultures themselves are on show, particularly how children live and play in other countries. Larger-than-life pictures of congee and shakshuka are flanked by fruit, flora and fauna, famous landmarks and symbols, as well as diverse children in everyday settings. The book also highlights different eating habits. For example, families in India gather on the floor to eat off banana leaves with fingers instead of silverware.

The concept’s basically sound, and despite flaws, the book could be useful when combined with other resources. (map) (Informational picture book. 4-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-499-80712-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2018

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PEACEFUL FIGHTS FOR EQUAL RIGHTS

An alphabet book to bring change, with the younger generation leading the way.

Nonviolent protests play a major part in history. Sanders wants to ensure that readers learn the importance of taking a stand at an early age. Comparisons to Innosanto Nagara’s A Is for Activist (2013) are inescapable, but this primer carries a bit more depth. It is a direct call to action. The spread for I and J, for instance, pleads: “Inquire. / Invite. / Inform. / Imagine. // Join others on the journey. Join others in the fight.” (The words beginning with I appear on protest signs, while the words beginning with J appear in the narrative text.) The page for S implores readers to “Stand up. / Speak out. / Sit down. / Sing loud. / Be silent.” While the spread for P? A pure white background that whispers a single word: “Pray.” Historical events such as the Delano grape strike (“Boycott! Boycott! Boycott!”) share the book with current ones, such as a protesting football player (“Take a knee”). Schorr’s matte, cut-paper illustrations are full of intricate parts, echoing the ways individuals weave together to form a community. Various races, ages, ethnicities, and abilities are all present. Adult-child interaction is still needed to lift this work to its full potential, but an author’s note and glossary help provide context for an engaging conversation.

Hopeful. (Picture book. 4-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 25, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5344-2943-7

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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A reasonably solid grounding in constitutional rights, their flexibility, lacunae, and hard-won corrections, despite a few...

WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL ABOUT FREEDOM

Shamir offers an investigation of the foundations of freedoms in the United States via its founding documents, as well as movements and individuals who had great impacts on shaping and reshaping those institutions.

The opening pages of this picture book get off to a wobbly start with comments such as “You know that feeling you get…when you see a wide open field that you can run through without worrying about traffic or cars? That’s freedom.” But as the book progresses, Shamir slowly steadies the craft toward that wide-open field of freedom. She notes the many obvious-to-us-now exclusivities that the founding political documents embodied—that the entitled, white, male authors did not extend freedom to enslaved African-Americans, Native Americans, and women—and encourages readers to learn to exercise vigilance and foresight. The gradual inclusion of these left-behind people paints a modestly rosy picture of their circumstances today, and the text seems to give up on explaining how Native Americans continue to be left behind. Still, a vital part of what makes freedom daunting is its constant motion, and that is ably expressed. Numerous boxed tidbits give substance to the bigger political picture. Who were the abolitionists and the suffragists, what were the Montgomery bus boycott and the “Uprising of 20,000”? Faulkner’s artwork conveys settings and emotions quite well, and his drawing of Ruby Bridges is about as darling as it gets. A helpful timeline and bibliography appear as endnotes.

A reasonably solid grounding in constitutional rights, their flexibility, lacunae, and hard-won corrections, despite a few misfires. (Informational picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: May 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-399-54728-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

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