A pleasurable way to explore China, complete with insightful author’s notes for each locale in the backmatter.

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LOST AND FOUND

ADÈLE & SIMON IN CHINA

From the Adèle & Simon series

Sometime around the turn of the 20th century, two white French children, Adèle and Simon, journey throughout historical China with their photographer uncle, Sidney.

Before they set off, Uncle Sidney buys the two travelers gifts, including a camera for Adèle and an abacus, a scroll, knapsack, and other items for Simon. The illustrated list of objects proves helpful later on. As they travel from place to place, Adèle writes postcards to her mama about the many sights they see as well as cataloging the gifts that Simon loses along the way. But, as Adèle’s photographs later reveal, each object was there all along. Much as in the popular search-and-find book Where’s Waldo, readers can search for Simon’s lost objects among the teeming double-page illustrations of 11 diverse locales. These include detailed renderings, done in McClintock’s trademark, vibrant pen-and-ink–and-watercolor style, of a bustling marketplace in Peking, a complex of monasteries in the Wudang Mountains, and the sprawling carved hillsides in southern China. With the children’s route outlined in red, the opening period map of China provides great perspective on how vast and varied this country was and still is. Since this is a historical view of China, many of the Chinese men wear queues, which can lead to further conversations with young readers.

A pleasurable way to explore China, complete with insightful author’s notes for each locale in the backmatter. (Picture book. 4-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-374-39923-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2016

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Both a beautiful celebration of black culture and an excellent first black history book for young children.

BLACK IS A RAINBOW COLOR

A young black child ponders the colors in the rainbow and a crayon box and realizes that while black is not a color in the rainbow, black culture is a rainbow of its own.

In bright paints and collage, Holmes shows the rainbow of black skin tones on each page while Joy’s text describes what “Black is” physically and culturally. It ranges from the concrete, such as “the braids in my best friend’s hair,” to the conceptual: “Black is soft-singing, ‘Hush now, don’t explain’ ”—a reference to the song “Don’t Explain” made popular by Billie Holiday and Nina Simone, the former depicted in full song with her signature camellia and the latter at her piano. Joy alludes throughout the brief text to poetry, music, figures, and events in black history, and several pages of backmatter supply the necessary context for caregivers who need a little extra help explaining them to listeners. Additionally, there is a playlist of songs to accompany reading as well as three poems: “Harlem,” by Langston Hughes, and “We Wear the Mask” and “Sympathy,” by Paul Laurence Dunbar. The author also includes a historical timeline describing some of the names that have been used to describe and label black people in the United States since 1619.

Both a beautiful celebration of black culture and an excellent first black history book for young children. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-62672-631-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: Nov. 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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A powerful retrospective glimpse at a key event.

LET THE CHILDREN MARCH

A vibrantly illustrated account of the Birmingham Children’s Crusade through the eyes of a young girl who volunteers to participate.

Morrison’s signature style depicts each black child throughout the book as a distinct individual; on the endpapers, children hold signs that collectively create a “Civil Rights and the Children’s Crusade” timeline, placing the events of the book in the context of the greater movement. When Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. comes to speak at her church, a girl and her brother volunteer to march in their parents’ stead. The narrative succinctly explains why the Children’s Crusade was a necessary logistical move, one that children and parents made with careful consideration and despite fear. Lines of text (“Let the children march. / They will lead the way // The path may be long and / troubled, but I’m gonna walk on!”) are placed within the illustrations in bold swoops for emphasis. Morrison’s powerful use of perspective makes his beautiful oil paintings even more dynamic and conveys the intensity of the situations depicted, including the children’s being arrested, hosed, and jailed. The child crusaders, regardless of how badly they’re treated, never lose their dignity, which the art conveys flawlessly. While the children win the day, such details as the Confederate flag subtly connect the struggle to the current day.

A powerful retrospective glimpse at a key event. (timeline, afterword, artist’s statement, quote sources, bibliography) (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-544-70452-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2017

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