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

READ REVIEW

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

This ambitious introduction to an important concept tries too hard to pigeonhole people, places, and things

NOUNS SAY "WHAT'S THAT?"

From the Word Adventures: Parts of Speech series

Anthropomorphized representations of a person, a place, and a thing introduce readers to nouns.

The protagonists are Person, a green, hairy, Cousin Itt–looking blob; Place, a round, blue, globe-ish being (stereotypically implied female by eyelashes and round pigtails); and Thing, a pink cloud with limbs, a porkpie hat, and red glasses. They first introduce the word “noun” and then start pointing out the nouns that fall under each of their categories. In their speech balloons, these vocabulary words are set in type that corresponds to the speaker’s color: “Each wheel is a thing noun,” says Thing, and “wheel” is set in red. Readers join the three as they visit a museum, pointing out the nouns they see along the way and introducing proper and collective nouns and ways to make nouns plural. Confusingly, though, Person labels the “bus driver” a “person noun” on one page, but two spreads later, Thing says “Abdar is a guard. Mrs. Mooney is a ticket taker. Their jobs are things that are also nouns.” Similarly, a group of athletes is a person noun—“team”—but “flock” and “pack” are things. Lowen’s digital illustrations portray a huge variety of people who display many skin and hair colors, differing abilities, and even religious and/or cultural markers (though no one is overweight). Backmatter includes a summary of noun facts, a glossary, an index (not seen), critical-thinking questions, and a list of further reading. Books on seven other parts of speech release simultaneously.

This ambitious introduction to an important concept tries too hard to pigeonhole people, places, and things . (Informational picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5158-4058-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Picture Window Books

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more