Likely to find its place on a few classroom shelves

THE LITTLE YELLOW BOTTLE

An earnest effort to shed light on the devastating effects of war on children.

Days after a village in an unnamed country is bombed, best friends Marwa and Ahmad are kicking a soccer ball when they come across a shiny yellow bottle. Ahmad picks it up, and the ensuing explosion injures both children. Marwa, the narrator of the story, heals completely from her injuries, but Ahmad has lost two limbs. When he's visited by a man who's similarly injured and living a full life with an artificial leg, Ahmad slowly regains hope. The illustrations are a blend of drawing and collage made to look like pages torn out of a child's school notebook. Inexplicably, the two illustrations that graphically depict Ahmad's injuries show the loss of limbs on different sides of his body. This well-intentioned but misplaced adult desire to expose injustices and laud the courage of children disfigured by landmines results in a weak story. There are no secrets about the direction the simplistic, didactic narrative will take, with a special message from Handicap International laid out opposite the title page. It's harder to tell who the intended audience is for this book; it's likely to appeal more to advocates of bibliotherapy than to children.

Likely to find its place on a few classroom shelves . (Picture book. 6–9)

Pub Date: March 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-926920-34-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Second Story Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 4, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless.

THE WORLD NEEDS MORE PURPLE PEOPLE

A monohued tally of positive character traits.

Purple is a “magic color,” affirm the authors (both actors, though Hart’s name recognition is nowhere near the level of Bell’s), and “purple people” are the sort who ask questions, laugh wholeheartedly, work hard, freely voice feelings and opinions, help those who might “lose” their own voices in the face of unkindness, and, in sum, can “JUST BE (the real) YOU.” Unlike the obsessive protagonist of Victoria Kann’s Pinkalicious franchise, being a purple person has “nothing to do with what you look like”—a point that Wiseman underscores with scenes of exuberantly posed cartoon figures (including versions of the authors) in casual North American attire but sporting a wide range of ages, skin hues, and body types. A crowded playground at the close (no social distancing here) displays all this wholesome behavior in action. Plenty of purple highlights, plus a plethora of broad smiles and wide-open mouths, crank up the visual energy—and if the earnest overall tone doesn’t snag the attention of young audiences, a grossly literal view of the young narrator and a grandparent “snot-out-our-nose laughing” should do the trick. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.4-by-20.6-inch double-page spreads viewed at 22.2% of actual size.)

The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12196-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably...

LOST AND FOUND

A lad finds a penguin on his doorstep and resolutely sets out to return it in this briefly told import. 

Eventually, he ends up rowing it all the way back to Antarctica, braving waves and storms, filling in the time by telling it stories. But then, feeling lonely after he drops his silent charge off, he belatedly realizes that it was probably lonely too, and turns back to find it. Seeing Jeffers’s small, distant figures in wide, simply brushed land- and sea-scapes, young viewers will probably cotton to the penguin’s feelings before the boy himself does—but all’s well that ends well, and the reunited companions are last seen adrift together in the wide blue sea. 

Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably with this—slightly—less offbeat friendship tale. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-399-24503-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more