There’s lots to see and do in this big city.

THE ULTIMATE BOOK OF CITIES

A set of panoramic views of the urban environment: inside and out, above and belowground, at street level and high overhead.

Thanks to many flaps, pull tabs, spinners, and sliders, viewers can take peeks into stores and apartments, see foliage change through the seasons in a park, operate elevators, make buildings rise and come down, visit museums and municipal offices, take in a film, join a children’s parade, marvel as Christmas decorations go up—even look in on a wedding and a funeral. Balicevic populates each elevated cartoon view with dozens of tiny but individualized residents diverse in age, skin tone, hair color and style, dress, and occupation. He also adds such contemporary touches as an electrical charging station for cars, surveillance cameras, smartphones, and fiber optic cables. Moreover, many flaps conceal diagrammatic views of infrastructure elements like water treatment facilities and sources of electrical power or how products ranging from plate glass and paper to bread, cheese, and T-shirts are manufactured (realistically, none of the workers in the last are white). Baumann’s commentary is largely dispensable, but she does worthily observe on the big final pop-up spread that cities are always changing—often, nowadays, becoming more environmentally friendly.

There’s lots to see and do in this big city. (Informational novelty. 6-9)

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

ISBN: 979-1-02760-079-3

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2017

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An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some...

RALPH TELLS A STORY

With a little help from his audience, a young storyteller gets over a solid case of writer’s block in this engaging debut.

Despite the (sometimes creatively spelled) examples produced by all his classmates and the teacher’s assertion that “Stories are everywhere!” Ralph can’t get past putting his name at the top of his paper. One day, lying under the desk in despair, he remembers finding an inchworm in the park. That’s all he has, though, until his classmates’ questions—“Did it feel squishy?” “Did your mom let you keep it?” “Did you name it?”—open the floodgates for a rousing yarn featuring an interloping toddler, a broad comic turn and a dramatic rescue. Hanlon illustrates the episode with childlike scenes done in transparent colors, featuring friendly-looking children with big smiles and widely spaced button eyes. The narrative text is printed in standard type, but the children’s dialogue is rendered in hand-lettered printing within speech balloons. The episode is enhanced with a page of elementary writing tips and the tantalizing titles of his many subsequent stories (“When I Ate Too Much Spaghetti,” “The Scariest Hamster,” “When the Librarian Yelled Really Loud at Me,” etc.) on the back endpapers.

An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some budding young writers off and running. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2012

ISBN: 978-0761461807

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Amazon Children's Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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An uncomplicated opener, with some funny bits and a clear but not heavy agenda.

BOOKMARKS ARE PEOPLE TOO!

From the Here's Hank series , Vol. 1

Hank Zipzer, poster boy for dyslexic middle graders everywhere, stars in a new prequel series highlighting second-grade trials and triumphs.

Hank’s hopes of playing Aqua Fly, a comic-book character, in the upcoming class play founder when, despite plenty of coaching and preparation, he freezes up during tryouts. He is not particularly comforted when his sympathetic teacher adds a nonspeaking role as a bookmark to the play just for him. Following the pattern laid down in his previous appearances as an older child, he gets plenty of help and support from understanding friends (including Ashley Wong, a new apartment-house neighbor). He even manages to turn lemons into lemonade with a quick bit of improv when Nick “the Tick” McKelty, the sneering classmate who took his preferred role, blanks on his lines during the performance. As the aforementioned bully not only chokes in the clutch and gets a demeaning nickname, but is fat, boastful and eats like a pig, the authors’ sensitivity is rather one-sided. Still, Hank has a winning way of bouncing back from adversity, and like the frequent black-and-white line-and-wash drawings, the typeface is designed with easy legibility in mind.

An uncomplicated opener, with some funny bits and a clear but not heavy agenda. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-448-48239-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: Dec. 11, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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