An airy but far-from-superficial spin past Big Questions and some of the thinkers who have tackled them.

READ REVIEW

LET THE THINKING BEGIN!

A slightly buggy but enticing introduction to philosophy, based on the first of a print series published in Canada (2011).

Squired by Sophia, an extroverted child resembling Dora the Explorer, young enquirers not only get exposure to broad definitions and basic ground rules for “Doing Philosophy”—meaning thinking about or discussing important ideas in systematic, civilized ways—but considerable drilling down into the topic, too. She lays out the purviews of metaphysics, epistemology, ethics and other branches of the discipline in simple but specific language. This is followed by introductions to five prominent practitioners (“Hannah Arendt here, and boy, oh boy, did I learn a lot of important things from philosophy!”) with overviews of their distinctive “fave subjects." The app closes with a list of 13 brain benders like “What does it mean for something to be ‘normal’?” Aside from two screens of appended historical and geographical sliders with pop-up texts that are only fitfully functional, this quick but informative tour scores high for its overall design, easy navigation, optional audio and cartoon illustrations highlighted by caricatures livened up with small animations. And where else will readers learn that “Jean-Paul Sartre was afraid of being chased by lobsters”? 

An airy but far-from-superficial spin past Big Questions and some of the thinkers who have tackled them. (coloring page) (iPad informational app. 10 & up)

Pub Date: Dec. 9, 2011

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Enable Training and Consulting, Inc.

Review Posted Online: March 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Gripping and pretty dark—but, in the end, food, family, friendship, and straight facts win out over guile, greed, and terror.

THE ICKABOG

Rowling buffs up a tale she told her own children about a small, idyllic kingdom nearly destroyed by corrupt officials.

In the peaceful land of Cornucopia, the Ickabog has always been regarded as a legendary menace until two devious nobles play so successfully on the fears of naïve King Fred the Fearless that the once-prosperous land is devastated by ruinous taxes supposedly spent on defense while protesters are suppressed and the populace is terrorized by nighttime rampages. Pastry chef Bertha Beamish organizes a breakout from the local dungeon just as her son, Bert, and his friend Daisy Dovetail arrive…with the last Ickabog, who turns out to be real after all. Along with full plates of just deserts for both heroes and villains, the story then dishes up a metaphorical lagniappe in which the monster reveals the origins of the human race. The author frames her story as a set of ruminations on how evil can grow and people can come to believe unfounded lies. She embeds these themes in an engrossing, tightly written adventure centered on a stomach-wrenching reign of terror. The story features color illustrations by U.S. and Canadian children selected through an online contest. Most characters are cued as White in the text; a few illustrations include diverse representation.

Gripping and pretty dark—but, in the end, food, family, friendship, and straight facts win out over guile, greed, and terror. (Fantasy. 10-13)

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-73287-0

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 17, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

Essential.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THIS BOOK IS ANTI-RACIST

20 LESSONS ON HOW TO WAKE UP, TAKE ACTION, AND DO THE WORK

A guidebook for taking action against racism.

The clear title and bold, colorful illustrations will immediately draw attention to this book, designed to guide each reader on a personal journey to work to dismantle racism. In the author’s note, Jewell begins with explanations about word choice, including the use of the terms “folx,” because it is gender neutral, and “global majority,” noting that marginalized communities of color are actually the majority in the world. She also chooses to capitalize Black, Brown, and Indigenous as a way of centering these communities’ voices; "white" is not capitalized. Organized in four sections—identity, history, taking action, and working in solidarity—each chapter builds on the lessons of the previous section. Underlined words are defined in the glossary, but Jewell unpacks concepts around race in an accessible way, bringing attention to common misunderstandings. Activities are included at the end of each chapter; they are effective, prompting both self-reflection and action steps from readers. The activities are designed to not be written inside the actual book; instead Jewell invites readers to find a special notebook and favorite pen and use that throughout. Combining the disruption of common fallacies, spotlights on change makers, the author’s personal reflections, and a call to action, this powerful book has something for all young people no matter what stage they are at in terms of awareness or activism.

Essential. (author’s note, further reading, glossary, select bibliography) (Nonfiction. 10-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7112-4521-1

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

more