A humorous dose of wordplay and righteous childhood indignation.

WHO IS ANA DALT?

Visual thinkers, take note: You may need to read the title and part of this rabble-rousing story out loud to catch the clever central pun, but children everywhere will relate.

Who is Ana Dalt? “When I see something fragile, I want it so much! / But when I reach up to get it, someone always yells… // ‘DON’T TOUCH!’ / ‘Only ANA DALT should be touching that stuff.’ ” Time and again, the narrator, an overalls- and baseball-cap–wearing child with beige skin and dark, chin-length hair, is deterred. Want to explore a lawn mower or gardening tool? “That’s for Ana Dalt!” When a scary movie comes on…“This is for Ana Dalt” too. Ready to grab a fancy party snack? “ ‘THAT’S NOT YOUR TREAT!’ / ‘That’s for Ana Dalt.’ ” Frustration builds until the narrator is standing on a stool with fist raised in protest. “It’s time someone tells me where Ana Dalt’s at! // Has anyone told her it’s nicer to share? / Does she even know? Does she even care?” Realistic illustrations with attitude emphasize facial expressions to capture a full range of emotions, including curiosity, anger, fear, and the struggle for understanding. The protagonist’s parents appear to be an interracial couple, suggesting the child is biracial; a genial and hairy family dog accompanies the narrator throughout. Secondary characters present with various skin tones.

A humorous dose of wordplay and righteous childhood indignation. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4867-1810-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Flowerpot Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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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 invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way.

NOAH CHASES THE WIND

A young boy sees things a little differently than others.

Noah can see patterns in the dust when it sparkles in the sunlight. And if he puts his nose to the ground, he can smell the “green tang of the ants in the grass.” His most favorite thing of all, however, is to read. Noah has endless curiosity about how and why things work. Books open the door to those answers. But there is one question the books do not explain. When the wind comes whistling by, where does it go? Noah decides to find out. In a chase that has a slight element of danger—wind, after all, is unpredictable—Noah runs down streets, across bridges, near a highway, until the wind lifts him off his feet. Cowman’s gusty wisps show each stream of air turning a different jewel tone, swirling all around. The ribbons gently bring Noah home, setting him down under the same thinking tree where he began. Did it really happen? Worthington’s sensitive exploration leaves readers with their own set of questions and perhaps gratitude for all types of perspective. An author’s note mentions children on the autism spectrum but widens to include all who feel a little different.

An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60554-356-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Redleaf Lane

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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