A useful if uncomplicated way of teaching “that we can all make a real difference when we choose to give back.” (sources)...

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THE MAN WHO LOVED LIBRARIES

THE STORY OF ANDREW CARNEGIE

Certainly the world of public libraries would be poorer without the substantial contribution of Andrew Carnegie.

This picture-book biography outlines the rags-to-riches story of the Scottish immigrant’s journey as a child to the United States and his rapid succession through jobs to one with the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. With money earned from his managerial role, he began the shrewd investing in railway, oil, iron, and steel companies that led to his extreme wealth. He never forgot the pleasure he got from books borrowed as a young man from Col. Anderson’s private library in Pittsburgh. This gentleman allowed “young workers” access every Saturday. The accompanying illustration shows young Andrew ascending a ladder up a vast wall of books that occupies the entire page. When Carnegie grew rich, he “used his own money to build public libraries so others could have the same opportunity.” Carnegie’s story is told in methodical, plain fashion, with the more controversial aspects of his career as a union-busting robber baron confined to a paragraph in backmatter. Illustrations feature a flattened, naïve style in a limited palette dependent on blues and browns, appropriate to the 19th-century period. An unlabeled world map highlights the far-flung locations of Carnegie libraries.

A useful if uncomplicated way of teaching “that we can all make a real difference when we choose to give back.” (sources) (Picture book/biography. 6-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 15, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-77147-267-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Owlkids Books

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

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A patchy production, visually absorbing at its best but hampered by a banal and unsystematic text.

WALK THIS WILD WORLD

Wild animals by the score pose in plain sight or hide beneath die-cut flaps in 12 natural habitats around the world.

Designed as a companion for Jenny Broom’s city tour Walk This World, illustrated by Lotta Nieminen (2013), Brewster’s gallery of broad land- and seascapes is free of human figures but teems with distinctive flora and fauna. His figures are occasionally stylized, but he depicts them with reasonable accuracy and shows them in natural, though seldom active poses. Baker’s narrative is likewise a bit stodgy. She gives each locale a rhyming overview, muffing the final one slightly: “The shifting sands of the Australian desert / shimmer in the searing heat / and hidden far beneath the dunes / nocturnal creatures safely sleep.” In addition, she offers perfunctory observations about one to four animals (or, rarely, plants) that are revealed by peeling up the small rectangular flaps on each free page: “The rare Asian arowana or ‘dragon fish’ swims in the deep pools”; “The ibis uses its long curved bill to search for food”; etc. A map at the end retraces the overall route and provides a general sense of each scene’s location. Even though some creatures are very small or too dimly lit to make out, and many others are unidentified, at least the art will give animal lovers plenty to pore over.

A patchy production, visually absorbing at its best but hampered by a banal and unsystematic text. (Informational pop-up picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: May 22, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-78370-541-2

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Big Picture/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

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A welcome addition to any collection of folk tales.

VIETNAMESE CHILDREN'S FAVORITE STORIES

While publishers in recent years have paid some attention to Asian folk tales, there has been a paucity of stories from Vietnam. This collection of 15 tales will fill the gap.

This Vietnamese-American storyteller’s tales are a mix of variations on familiar tales and tropes, cultural pourquoi stories and legends. Familiar folk-tale elements can be seen in many, such as “The Legend of the Mosquito,” “Why Ducks Sleep on One Leg,” “Why the Sea is Salty” and a "Cinderella" variant, “The Story of Tam and Cam.” Others are rooted in Vietnam. “Da Trang and the Magic Pearl” offers an explanation for the scuttling of crabs on the beach; “The Legend of Banh Chung and Banh Day” reveals the origins of the traditional foods of Tet; “Why One Shouldn’t Sweep the House on Tet Nguyen Dan” explains another Tet tradition. An introduction explains the significance of several key elements in Vietnamese tales. A publisher’s note at the beginning describes its mission: to provide books that connect East and West. Attractive watercolor illustrations by two Vietnamese artists are scattered throughout, and the appealing cover should invite readers.

A welcome addition to any collection of folk tales. (Folk tales. 6-9)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8048-4429-1

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Tuttle

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2015

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