So many different ways to say hello or to wish someone a good day, a fine meal, or a happy birthday! (Informational picture...

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THE HELLO ATLAS

LISTEN TO 133 DIFFERENT LANGUAGES!

Children around the world offer greetings and conversational overtures in over 125 languages.

Elaborating on the idea behind Manya Stojic’s Hello World (2002) and similar polyglot consciousness-raisers, Handicott places dozens of small figures on blank maps of each continent (even Antarctica), then introduces each speaker in a separate panel offering a friendly greeting or question. Along with sampling widely spoken languages, readers can try their tongues on “Kiaora” (Maori “Hello”), “Ti mxëë?” (“What’s your name?” in Mixe), or somewhat-longer expressions such as “Najotj’o ri nzengwats’ü” (“Pleased to meet you” in Mazahua). Lists at the end offer further short phrases for each entry, and an associated app (not available for review) supplies audio versions for help with pronunciation. This will be a necessity for just about everybody, as there are no phonetic spellings. The introductory notes about each language’s speakers and linguistic family aren't as detailed as those in Jonathan Litton’s Hello World, illustrated by L'Atelier Cartographik (2016), but there is more vocabulary, along with many more indigenous entries. Pak promotes an expansive view too, with figures that are not only not always dressed in stereotypical national costume, but even in places like Finland and Ireland are nearly all variously dark-skinned. Indeed, the legacy of colonialism seems almost entirely suppressed; a French-Canadian child and an Afrikaans-speaking child are the only obviously white figures in North America and Africa, respectively.

So many different ways to say hello or to wish someone a good day, a fine meal, or a happy birthday! (Informational picture book. 7-11)

Pub Date: Dec. 20, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-84780-863-9

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

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Ordinary kids in an extraordinary setting: still a recipe for bright achievements and belly laughs.

WAYSIDE SCHOOL BENEATH THE CLOUD OF DOOM

Rejoice! 25 years later, Wayside School is still in session, and the children in Mrs. Jewls’ 30th-floor classroom haven’t changed a bit.

The surreal yet oddly educational nature of their misadventures hasn’t either. There are out-and-out rib ticklers, such as a spelling lesson featuring made-up words and a determined class effort to collect 1 million nail clippings. Additionally, mean queen Kathy steps through a mirror that turns her weirdly nice and she discovers that she likes it, a four-way friendship survives a dumpster dive after lost homework, and Mrs. Jewls makes sure that a long-threatened “Ultimate Test” allows every student to show off a special talent. Episodic though the 30 new chapters are, there are continuing elements that bind them—even to previous outings, such as the note to an elusive teacher Calvin has been carrying since Sideways Stories From Wayside School (1978) and finally delivers. Add to that plenty of deadpan dialogue (“Arithmetic makes my brain numb,” complains Dameon. “That’s why they’re called ‘numb-ers,’ ” explains D.J.) and a wild storm from the titular cloud that shuffles the school’s contents “like a deck of cards,” and Sachar once again dishes up a confection as scrambled and delicious as lunch lady Miss Mush’s improvised “Rainbow Stew.” Diversity is primarily conveyed in the illustrations.

Ordinary kids in an extraordinary setting: still a recipe for bright achievements and belly laughs. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-296538-7

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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Readers will be waiting to see how Charlie faces his next challenge in a series that marks a lovely change of pace from the...

CHARLIE BUMPERS VS. THE TEACHER OF THE YEAR

From the Charlie Bumpers series , Vol. 1

Charlie Bumpers is doomed. The one teacher he never wanted in the whole school turns out to be his fourth-grade teacher.

Charlie recalls third grade, when he accidentally hit the scariest teacher in the whole school with his sneaker. “I know all about you, Charlie Bumpers,” she says menacingly on the first day of fourth grade. Now, in addition to all the hardships of starting school, he has gotten off on the wrong foot with her. Charlie’s dry and dramatic narrative voice clearly reveals the inner life of a 9-year-old—the glass is always half empty, especially in light of a series of well-intentioned events gone awry. It’s quite a litany: “Hitting Mrs. Burke in the head with the sneaker. The messy desk. The swinging on the door. The toilet paper. And now this—the shoe on the roof.” Harley has teamed once again with illustrator Gustavson (Lost and Found, 2012) to create a real-life world in which a likable kid must face the everyday terrors of childhood: enormous bullies, looming teachers and thick gym coaches with huge pointing fingers. Into this series opener, Harley magically weaves the simple lesson that people, even teachers, can surprise you.

Readers will be waiting to see how Charlie faces his next challenge in a series that marks a lovely change of pace from the sarcasm of Wimpy Kid. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-56145-732-8

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2013

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