Sweet.

READ REVIEW

THE BOY WHO INVENTED THE POPSICLE

THE COOL SCIENCE BEHIND FRANK EPPERSON'S FAMOUS FROZEN TREAT

Boxing is known as the sweet science, but the inventor of the Popsicle, might disagree.

Born in 1894, Frank William Epperson always seemed to know he wanted to be a great inventor when he grew up. He was an inquisitive young boy, always pondering big questions: “Do goldfish sleep? Do ants have ears? Do woodpeckers get headaches from pecking all day?” Frank’s back porch was his laboratory, where he “tinkered and tested. Analyzed and scrutinized.” When he was 10, he built a handcar with two handles and zipped around the neighborhood. But it was his interest in liquids, flavored soda waters in particular, that led to his great invention. One unusually cold San Francisco night in 1905, he left one of his drinks outside, and by morning it had frozen. “He had invented a frozen drink on a stick!” But it wasn’t until years later that the adult Epperson acted on the memory. He created a box in which he could freeze several test tubes filled with fruit juice and created the Ep-sicle to sell at shops, county fairs, and beaches. Pavlović’s exuberant mixed-media illustrations are the perfect complement to Renaud’s lively text. They even intersperse science experiments to help young readers understand the science behind Frank’s procedures. Epperson, his family, and his environs were white; the final double-page spread offers a diverse cast of characters united in their love of Epperson’s invention, now called Popsicles.

Sweet. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5253-0028-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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It’s a bit sketchy of historical detail, but it’s coherent, inspirational, and engaging without indulging in rapturous...

ROSA PARKS

From the Little People, BIG DREAMS series

A first introduction to the iconic civil rights activist.

“She was very little and very brave, and she always tried to do what was right.” Without many names or any dates, Kaiser traces Parks’ life and career from childhood to later fights for “fair schools, jobs, and houses for black people” as well as “voting rights, women’s rights and the rights of people in prison.” Though her refusal to change seats and the ensuing bus boycott are misleadingly presented as spontaneous acts of protest, young readers will come away with a clear picture of her worth as a role model. Though recognizable thanks to the large wire-rimmed glasses Parks sports from the outset as she marches confidently through Antelo’s stylized illustrations, she looks childlike throughout (as characteristic of this series), and her skin is unrealistically darkened to match the most common shade visible on other African-American figures. In her co-published Emmeline Pankhurst (illustrated by Ana Sanfelippo), Kaiser likewise simplistically implies that Great Britain led the way in granting universal women’s suffrage but highlights her subject’s courageous quest for justice, and Isabel Sánchez Vegara caps her profile of Audrey Hepburn (illustrated by Amaia Arrazola) with the moot but laudable claim that “helping people across the globe” (all of whom in the pictures are dark-skinned children) made Hepburn “happier than acting or dancing ever had.” All three titles end with photographs and timelines over more-detailed recaps plus at least one lead to further information.

It’s a bit sketchy of historical detail, but it’s coherent, inspirational, and engaging without indulging in rapturous flights of hyperbole. (Picture book/biography. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-78603-018-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

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This charming star shines bright.

THE SUN IS KIND OF A BIG DEAL

A humorous introduction to our sun and the solar system.

Webcomic creator Seluk aquaints readers with the sun (sporting a sly grin and a cool pair of shades) and its position as both the literal and metaphorical star of the solar system. Readers are introduced to the planets’ general relationships to the sun before diving deeper into the Earth’s unique reliance on the sun: “It does a ton of important jobs for Earth. In fact, we wouldn’t be around without the Sun!” The book explores everything from the effects of Earth’s rotation on our planet’s temperatures, daylight, and seasons to the water cycle and photosynthesis with clear and friendly prose. The planets’ characterizations are silly and irreverent: Venus wears a visor, Saturn is a hula-hoop champ, and Jupiter desperately wants an autograph but pretends it’s for one of its moons. Speech-bubble asides and simple but expressive faces and arm postures add to the celestial bodies’ personalities. Bright colors, contrasting backgrounds, and bold lines are engaging but never overwhelming. Vocabulary words set in boldface are tied to a glossary in the back. Backmatter also includes a gossip-magazine–style spread (“Planets: They’re Just Like Us!”) and a “Did You Know” section that highlights ancient civilizations’ beliefs about the sun.

This charming star shines bright. (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 25, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-338-16697-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

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