Copious kid-friendly information on a vitally important topic, stylishly presented, makes this book essential. Knowledge is...




A comprehensive compilation of fast-food marketing practices aimed at youth and ways kids can recognize and combat them.

In this slim, 15-chapter book, Curtis begins with the basics, clearly explaining what marketing is: “the art and science of persuasion.” The author’s upbeat, nonpatronizing tone is a selling point in itself as she explains how fast-food marketers place product brands in entertainment culture—movies, TV shows, and video games—to persuade kids to identify with or become loyal to a type of junk food; how they infiltrate schools by creating fundraisers and teaching resources that feature their product; and how they create kid-friendly spokescharacters such as Ronald McDonald, among many other manipulative practices. The good news is that the book’s target audience—kids—will feel empowered as they learn how they are being influenced and are educated in ways to fight back. Segments labeled “Do This!” suggest ways readers can participate in anti–fast-food advocacy and tell stories of real-life kids and parents who exposed junk-food marketing practices. Facts about the unhealthy results of eating fast food based on statistics from countries around the world are included as well as information on what real food is. Collins’ snappy designs depict youth of many ethnicities and share space with clear, well-chosen stock photographs.

Copious kid-friendly information on a vitally important topic, stylishly presented, makes this book essential. Knowledge is power. (sources, glossary, author interview) (Nonfiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-88995-532-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Red Deer Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

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Maybe it’s “awesome” to be average.


Champion table tennis player Syed begins this encouragement book by chronicling his own story of how he grew up believing he was average until he began to master the sport.

The goal of this book is to help kids realize that they needn’t necessarily be born with a certain gift or talent—that maybe success is a combination of hard work, the right mentors, and a strong support system. In the chapter “What’s Holding Me Back?” Syed offers a variety of ways a young person can begin to reflect on who they really are and define what their true passion may be. The following chapters stress the importance of practice, coping with pressure, and honoring mistakes as human rather than failure. Throughout the book, Syed highlights those he terms “Famous Failures,” including Steve Jobs, Jay-Z, and Jennifer Lawrence, while also providing a spotlight for those who mastered their talent by perseverance, such as Serena Williams, the Brontë sisters, and David Beckham. Though this self-help book has good intentions, however, it is a little heavy-handed on the perpetuation of an achievement-oriented life. Perhaps it is also good to acknowledge that not everybody need aspire to someone else’s definition of greatness.

Maybe it’s “awesome” to be average. (Nonfiction. 9-13)

Pub Date: July 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-8753-5

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2019

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The title doesn't fit the book.



The design of this cookbook cleverly supports young chefs in their mess-making—er, cooking.

With glossy pages that will withstand a wet-washcloth cleanup and a cover that unfolds into a stand, this easy-to-use spiral-bound cookbook is made for kids and includes both U.S. and metric measures. But the recipes and directions are not as well-designed. The safety note is just one sentence at the very beginning, easily missed. Seven sections follow, focusing on breakfasts; appetizers, soups and salads; main courses; beverages; snacks; desserts and baking; and projects to add ambience. Even picky eaters are sure to find something, although there are some ingredients that children will likely turn their noses up at, whether from taste or unfamiliarity: Gruyere cheese, dandelion leaves, bulgur wheat. Other ingredients may be hard to find—vanilla pods, orange-flower extract, orange-blossom water. And some of the ingredient lists are not specific enough—“1 bag of carrots,” “4 zucchinis,” frozen fish (the directions never say to thaw). But the biggest problem lies with the directions. Cooking terms are not defined—cream, sift, knead, score—and the pictures of the finished products frequently do not match the written instructions. Some of the steps could use pictures of their own, especially for those kids who don’t yet know their ways around a kitchen. Small spot cartoons of people and anthropomorphized animals dot the directions, but they seem more for amusement than to actually help young chefs succeed.

The title doesn't fit the book. (Cookbook. 9-14)

Pub Date: Dec. 2, 2014

ISBN: 978-2-7338-2986-8

Page Count: 122

Publisher: Auzou Publishing

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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