An empathetic look at hard problems, beautifully modulated for chapter-book readers.

LOVE FROM ANNA HIBISCUS

From the Anna Hibiscus series , Vol. 7

In typical gentle style, the seventh book in the Anna Hibiscus series provides a glimpse into the problems of an inequitable system.

Picking up where Go Well, Anna Hibiscus (2017) left off, the book finds Anna increasingly aware of the poverty and lack of opportunity experienced by her friends in her grandfather’s village in rural Africa: “if Tosin and Tolu and Beni are my own age, why are they all so much smaller than me?” When she realizes that it is because they eat only once a day, she is sad and determines to do more than be a friend. Anna is just a little girl, but the third part of her name, “Iyanu,” means “miracle.” In the most miraculous way, Anna, with the help of her cousins, tackles all these big problems. Her loving family also rescues her orphaned friend, Sunny Belafonte, from an impossible choice: stealing or starvation. All this is accomplished in four brief chapters using simple, direct language aligned to the abilities of newly independent chapter-book readers. Anna’s good deeds feel completely believable. After all, as Grandmother had told her, “Anything was possible. Schools. Medicine. Food. Families. Anything at all. It took money and time and knowledge. But mostly it took love.” Maybe it is that easy, if everyone shares Anna’s compassion and optimistic view.

An empathetic look at hard problems, beautifully modulated for chapter-book readers. (Fiction. 5-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-61067-680-9

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

Teachers will certainly find themselves wishing for their own arsenal of supplies to help them with their grading, and...

THE LITTLE RED PEN

Obviously inspired by "The Little Red Hen," this goes beyond the foundation tale's basic moral about work ethic to explore problem solving, teamwork and doing one’s best.

Nighttime at school brings the Little Red Pen out of the drawer to correct papers, usually aided by other common school supplies. But not this time. Too afraid of being broken, worn out, dull, lost or, worst of all, put in the “Pit of No Return” (aka trash), they hide in the drawer despite the Little Red Pen’s insistence that the world will end if the papers do not get corrected. But even with her drive she cannot do it all herself—her efforts send her to the Pit. It takes the ingenuity and cooperation of every desk supply to accomplish her rescue and to get all the papers graded, thereby saving the world. The authors work in lots of clever wordplay that will appeal to adult readers, as will the spicy character of Chincheta, the Mexican pushpin. Stevens’ delightfully expressive desk supplies were created with paint, ink and plenty of real school supplies. Without a doubt, she has captured their true personalities: the buck-toothed stapler, bespectacled scissors and rather empty-headed eraser.

Teachers will certainly find themselves wishing for their own arsenal of supplies to help them with their grading, and students may take a second glance at that innocuous-looking red pen on the teacher’s desk. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 18, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-15-206432-7

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: April 6, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more