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




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

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2018

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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 lively, inspiring depiction of an indomitable fighter for women’s rights.



It’s Alice Paul versus Woodrow Wilson!

Utilizing the language and structure of a boxing match, this fast-paced selection covers Alice Paul’s activism, ongoing support of women’s suffrage, and continuing advocacy for passage of the 19th Amendment during Woodrow Wilson’s two presidential terms. Illustrations based on Jazz Age lithographs and boxing posters combine nicely with suspenseful, articulate text that includes some of Paul’s ancillary accomplishments (she led both the first pickets of the White House, for example, and a successful hunger strike while incarcerated) along the way to success. Wilson’s befuddlement and confusion at her strength and dedication to the cause are covered here, too, as are the negative responses of men who resisted Paul’s actions and beliefs. Ultimately, the focus is on positive change: the ratification of the amendment, Wilson’s developing viewpoint, and America’s growing acceptance of women’s rights. While the text presents her dedication and accomplishments with verve and excitement, the endnotes provide a timeline, bibliography, and additional historical context in which the white woman’s support of her organization’s discrimination against African American women is explored, presenting a picture of a flawed yet accomplished heroine.

A lively, inspiring depiction of an indomitable fighter for women’s rights. (Picture book/biography. 6-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 25, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-62979-908-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2020

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