From the ThinkCities series , Vol. 4

A lively exposition of creative community-building projects.

Placemaking—shaping public spaces through community action—can make urban neighborhoods friendlier and more fun and inclusive.

In her fourth book in her ThinkCities series, Canadian writer Curtis looks at ways people in cities all over the world—from Mexico City to Tokyo, Addis Ababa to Auckland—have made changes for the better. The ideas are both surprising and inspiring: brightly painted benches, open-air libraries, pianos left out for passersby to play, pop-up parks, and public bathrooms with transparent walls that become opaque when the space is occupied. The text is set against exuberant, creatively intertwined illustrations that depict city dwellers diverse in ethnicity, age, and ability. People can be seen walking, riding bicycles, making art or conversation, playing, and just chilling out. Realistically, there are occasional cars, but the focus is on the people, a true city of neighbors. What might have seemed like a long inventory is enlivened by these images, which depict many of the examples mentioned in the text: a mural memorializing George Floyd in Minneapolis, a Toronto fountain with 27 cast-iron dogs and one cat, a “light ceiling” that makes an alley in Athens a brighter, safer place. The author concludes by inviting readers to get involved, offering an extensive list of suggestions for getting started.

A lively exposition of creative community-building projects. (glossary, selected sources, further resources for adults) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 2, 2023

ISBN: 9781773068169

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Groundwood

Review Posted Online: Feb. 7, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2023


This introduction to puberty may be particularly helpful for girls looking ahead to that stage.

A growing-up guide for preteen girls.

This puberty-navigation guide covers girls’ bodily changes, body care, health, relationships with family and friends, staying safe, and handling stress. In many cases the author, a registered nurse, has covered the same material as she did in various editions of this title as well as The Boy’s Body Book. This girls’ book skips the topics of sleep and performance-enhancement drugs in favor of a section on eating disorders. As in the boys’ book, controversial subjects are addressed generally and conservatively if at all. She includes a rough diagram of female reproductive organs and tells her young readers about menstruation and visiting a gynecologist but not how babies are made. She talks about having boys as friends, saying “Don’t put pressure on yourself to call any of your close friendships ‘dating.’ ” The strength of this title is its emphasis on good grooming, healthy living habits, and positive relationships. Added for this fourth edition is new material on interacting with adults, personal empowerment, body language, reputations, and “learning disabilities,” helpful information for the growing segment of the preteen population identified with cognitive and social learning differences. Tallardy’s cartoon illustrations show girls and adults of varying ethnicities and provide a cheerful accompaniment.

This introduction to puberty may be particularly helpful for girls looking ahead to that stage. (resources, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-60433-714-3

Page Count: 148

Publisher: Cider Mill Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2017


Occasionally clever—fifth-grade boys will love it.

“There is a lot of nonsense written about the human body,” writes the author, “and this book is no exception.”

Though not quite making good on his promise of “100 percent fact-free chapters,” (he does accurately describe “chondrolaryngoplasty”) Griffiths’ anatomical tour in general steers clear of anything that would be marked as correct on a test. From “Ears can be big or small, depending on their size” to “Capillaries are the larval form of butterflies,” he offers pithy inanities about 68 mostly real body features. Though he closes every entry with “That is all you need to know about…,” he then goes on to regale readers with the news that the epiglottis was named after a Greek philosopher and other “Fun Body Facts.” Similarly, noting that his illustrations “may not be scientifically accurate” (the understatement of the decade), Denton nonetheless provides on nearly every spread profusely labeled, free-association cartoon views of each body part. These are filled out with tiny figures, mechanical apparatus and miscellaneous junk. Though serious young researchers may be disappointed to find the “Private Parts” pages blacked out, a full index follows to provide ready access to any references to poo, pus, farts, drool, “sneeze-powered missiles” and like essentials.

Occasionally clever—fifth-grade boys will love it. (Humor. 10-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-312-36790-9

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2012

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