Decidedly and deliberately didactic, the book aims to spark action on the part of listeners, making it a title best shared...

READ REVIEW

BE THE CHANGE

A GRANDFATHER GANDHI STORY

The creators of Grandfather Gandhi (2014) return with a lesson about the complex foundations of violence in our world.

Life for young Arun in the ashram, or "service village," includes many chores. All work for the good of the group, doing basic tasks such as growing food or spinning thread. While these endeavors clearly affect comfort and survival, the benefits of some of the expectations held by his grandfather Mohandas K. Gandhi are less tangible. Arun Gandhi speaks directly to readers, explaining that he struggled particularly with the idea that waste and violence were linked. Through conversation and the creation of a visual aid, his Bapuji helps him to conceptualize the connection and to see that all actions are interrelated. Gandhi and Hegedus' relatively lengthy text is alternately direct and lyrical. Abstract concepts, sophisticated vocabulary, and philosophical explanations may slow some readers down, though unfamiliar words can generally be understood in context. Turk's striking mixed-media illustrations feature vivid colors and varying textures and include decorative stitching that evokes Indian textiles. Exaggerated, stylized shapes and intriguing perspectives complement the complexity of the ideas being explored and illuminate the subdued action of the text.

Decidedly and deliberately didactic, the book aims to spark action on the part of listeners, making it a title best shared by adults who are interested in the topic and motivated to continue the conversation. (authors’ note) (Informational picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-4265-7

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

26 FAIRMOUNT AVENUE

            The legions of fans who over the years have enjoyed dePaola’s autobiographical picture books will welcome this longer gathering of reminiscences.  Writing in an authentically childlike voice, he describes watching the new house his father was building go up despite a succession of disasters, from a brush fire to the hurricane of 1938.  Meanwhile, he also introduces family, friends, and neighbors, adds Nana Fall River to his already well-known Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs, remembers his first day of school (“ ‘ When do we learn to read?’  I asked.  ‘Oh, we don’t learn how to read in kindergarten.  We learn to read next year, in first grade.’  ‘Fine,’ I said.  ‘I’ll be back next year.’  And I walked right out of school.”), recalls holidays, and explains his indignation when the plot of Disney’s “Snow White” doesn’t match the story he knows.  Generously illustrated with vignettes and larger scenes, this cheery, well-knit narrative proves that an old dog can learn new tricks, and learn them surpassingly well.  (Autobiography.  7-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-399-23246-X

Page Count: 58

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1999

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Move over Ramona Quimby, Portland has another neighbor you have to meet!

WAYS TO MAKE SUNSHINE

Ryan Hart is navigating the fourth grade and all its challenges with determination.

Her mom named her Ryan because it means “king,” and she wanted Ryan to feel powerful every time she heard her name; Ryan knows it means she is a leader. So when changes occur or disaster strikes, budding chef Ryan does her best to find the positive and “make sunshine.” When her dad is laid off from the post office, the family must make adjustments that include moving into a smaller house, selling their car, and changing how they shop for groceries. But Ryan gets to stay at Vernon Elementary, and her mom still finds a way to get her the ingredients she needs to practice new recipes. Her older brother, Ray, can be bossy, but he finds little ways to support her, especially when she is down—as does the whole family. Each episodic chapter confronts Ryan with a situation; intermittently funny, frustrating, and touching, they should be familiar and accessible to readers, as when Ryan fumbles her Easter speech despite careful practice. Ryan, her family, and friends are Black, and Watson continues to bring visibility to both Portland, Oregon, generally and its Black community specifically, making another wonderful contribution that allows Black readers to see themselves and all readers to find a character they can love.

Move over Ramona Quimby, Portland has another neighbor you have to meet! (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 28, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5476-0056-4

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Jan. 21, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more