With its wide range of jobs and commendable gender balance, this will have a place in classrooms despite the rather odd...

WHAT DO GROWN-UPS DO ALL DAY?

The unnamed and unseen narrator in this German import introduces readers to the jobs of 30 family members and friends.

Three to six sentences on the bottom sixth of each page introduce each person and summarize what their job entails. The careers range widely, from a mechanical engineer, astronaut, and architect (all women!) to a gardener, brewer, and tattoo artist. But the author goes overboard with adjectives: Auntie Tokiko is a farmer. “She gets up very early…to feed her charming cows, clucking chickens, gregarious goats, and gigantic pigs.” And some descriptions are unclear: “When a person might have done something wrong, [lawyer uncle Ben] looks at every little detail and helps them (and the judge) decide what to do.” Ryski’s illustrations have a stylized, posterlike aesthetic. The retro palette is limited to black, white, pink, brown, mustard yellow, orange, green, and a dusky blue. Faces are reminiscent of Lego minifigure faces: expressions and even facial features are mostly the same throughout, whether male or female, with hairstyles and facial hair sometimes differentiating people. The narrator’s sister and grandmother are on facing pages, and aside from one having wavy hair and one having straight, they might be twins; there is no visible age difference, and their faces are identical. Skin tones are either brown or pink.

With its wide range of jobs and commendable gender balance, this will have a place in classrooms despite the rather odd language. (Informational picture book. 3-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 10, 2017

ISBN: 978-3-89955-799-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little Gestalten

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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Energetic enough to carry younger rocketeers off the launch pad if not into a very high orbit.

PROFESSOR ASTRO CAT'S SPACE ROCKETS

From the Professor Astro Cat series

The bubble-helmeted feline explains what rockets do and the role they have played in sending people (and animals) into space.

Addressing a somewhat younger audience than in previous outings (Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space, 2013, etc.), Astro Cat dispenses with all but a light shower of “factoroids” to describe how rockets work. A highly selective “History of Space Travel” follows—beginning with a crew of fruit flies sent aloft in 1947, later the dog Laika (her dismal fate left unmentioned), and the human Yuri Gagarin. Then it’s on to Apollo 11 in 1969; the space shuttles Discovery, Columbia, and Challenger (the fates of the latter two likewise elided); the promise of NASA’s next-gen Orion and the Space Launch System; and finally vague closing references to other rockets in the works for local tourism and, eventually, interstellar travel. In the illustrations the spacesuited professor, joined by a mouse and cat in similar dress, do little except float in space and point at things. Still, the art has a stylish retro look, and portraits of Sally Ride and Guion Bluford diversify an otherwise all-white, all-male astronaut corps posing heroically or riding blocky, geometric spacecraft across starry reaches.

Energetic enough to carry younger rocketeers off the launch pad if not into a very high orbit. (glossary) (Informational picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-911171-55-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Flying Eye Books

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

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Adults wishing to expand the worldviews of their young charges beyond Eurocentric interpretations will find plenty of visual...

RAPUNZEL

From the Once Upon a World series

A retelling of the classic fairy tale with India as its setting.

This latest addition to the Once Upon A World series tells the well-known story of the maiden with beautiful long tresses locked away in a tower by an evil witch and the prince who falls in love with her. As with Perkins’ Cinderella (illustrated by Sandra Equihua, 2016) and Snow White (illustrated by Misa Saburi, 2016), the text has been simplified for a younger audience, and the distinguishing twist here is its setting in India. The mixed-media illustrations of plants, animals, village life, and, of course, Rapunzel, the witch, and the prince come alive in warm, saturated colors. Other than the visuals, there is little to differentiate the story from traditional tellings. As always, it is still the prince who will eventually lead Rapunzel to her salvation by taking her to his kingdom far away from the witch, but that is the nature of fairy tales. The only quibble with this book and indeed with this series is the board-book format. Given the fact that the audience most likely to enjoy it is beyond the board-book age, a full-size book would have done more justice to the vibrant artwork.

Adults wishing to expand the worldviews of their young charges beyond Eurocentric interpretations will find plenty of visual delights in this one, though they’ll wish it were bigger. (Board book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 21, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-9072-6

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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