Ultimately, this attempt to show how archeology can provide answers to ancient history’s mysteries disappoints.

JODIE'S PASSOVER ADVENTURE

A Passover family picnic is preceded by a quick exploration of and discovery beneath the ground in the Old City of Jerusalem.

During the week of Passover, archeology enthusiast Jodie is eager to escort her visiting cousin Zach on a tour of the ancient Hezekiah’s Tunnel, which is famous for its strategic water passages. Zach is initially reluctant, and he imagines terrors as he enters the deep, dark and wet tunnel. "Evidence" of dragons, monsters and dinosaurs is logically explained away by Jodie as mold, shadows and chisel marks left on the walls by the tunnel creators. With the help of a flashlight, the cousins solve the "riddle of the middle" pointed out by Jodie’s father at the beginning of their tour. Opaque double-page illustrations move the story from outside the tunnel, where no clear entrance is indicated, through to a wall of markings, supposedly drawn from opposite directions, that show the original tunnel workings dug from two different points and meeting in the middle. Unlike predecessor Jodie’s Hanukkah Dig (2008), which wove together themes of bravery and resilience, this story has nothing at all to do with the titular holiday.

Ultimately, this attempt to show how archeology can provide answers to ancient history’s mysteries disappoints. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7613-5642-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kar-Ben

Review Posted Online: Jan. 9, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2012

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A touching, beautifully illustrated story of greatest interest to those in the New York City area.

RED AND LULU

A pair of cardinals is separated and then reunited when their tree home is moved to New York City to serve as the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.

The male cardinal, Red, and his female partner, Lulu, enjoy their home in a huge evergreen tree located in the front yard of a small house in a pleasant neighborhood. When the tree is cut down and hauled away on a truck, Lulu is still inside the tree. Red follows the truck into the city but loses sight of it and gets lost. The birds are reunited when Red finds the tree transformed with colored lights and serving as the Christmas tree in a complex of city buildings. When the tree is removed after Christmas, the birds find a new home in a nearby park. Each following Christmas, the pair visit the new tree erected in the same location. Attractive illustrations effectively handle some difficult challenges of dimension and perspective and create a glowing, magical atmosphere for the snowy Christmas trees. The original owners of the tree are a multiracial family with two children; the father is African-American and the mother is white. The family is in the background in the early pages, reappearing again skating on the rink at Rockefeller Center with their tree in the background.

A touching, beautifully illustrated story of greatest interest to those in the New York City area. (author’s note) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7733-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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A celebration of letters that gently gives young readers the knowledge and tools to share the love.

HOW TO SEND A HUG

Hugs are for everyone anytime they need a little extra love, but how can you hug a person who lives far away?

Talking on the phone or via computer isn’t enough, but luckily Artie shares a way to send a hug—by writing a letter. Infused with the love a hug carries, these step-by-step instructions begin with finding the right writing implement and paper and taking plenty of time for this important task. The story then follows the letter’s journey from the mail drop through a variety of possible transports (“by two legs and four legs, by four wheels and two wheels”) to the magic of delivery and the even greater joy of getting a reply. Readers as lucky as Artie will receive a return letter that carries the scent of its writer, like Grandma Gertie’s missive, filled with rose petals. Fun wording, like putting the letter in a “special jacket to keep it safe and warm” (an envelope), sticking “a ticket” on the envelope “in just the right spot” (a stamp), and the letter being picked up by a “Hug Delivery Specialist” (postal worker), adds humor, as does Artie’s ever present pet duck. Artie and Grandma Gertie present White; the postal workers and the other people depicted receiving letters throughout are racially and geographically diverse. The realistic illustrations in pencil, watercolor, and digital color expand the story and add a layer of love and humor. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A celebration of letters that gently gives young readers the knowledge and tools to share the love. (author’s note) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-316-30692-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2022

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