Next book


Giroux expresses core truths through his insightful and heartfelt poem.

An elementary-age kid tries to find a place in a world that makes him feel devastatingly different.

Who belongs where? Who can belong? The narrator compares himself to those around him and feels isolated. Should he even try to fit in? He hears “noises in the air.” No one else seems to—why him? If he shrinks and hides away, will people stop laughing? Why can’t he be like the kids he sees walking past the window? Did he come from outer space? Buffeted by this feeling of oddness, he seems to find no answers until he realizes that he isn’t the only one—everyone is “odd and new,” and that is not such a bad thing. Written when the autistic author was 10, Giroux’s poetic exploration of being/feeling different from the perspective of living on the spectrum brings to light that being neurodivergent is not the same as being broken or “less.” Being different is not an insurmountable obstacle to experiencing life but rather a gift to experience more. In metaphorical scenes that vary from spread to spread as they interpret the lines, MacLean’s soft-hued illustrations show the narrator, depicted as a bespectacled White kid, as apart yet a part of the world around him. The predominance of blues and purples emphasizes the sense of separateness. The foreword by the National Autism Association states: “No one has ever made a difference in the world by being the same.” (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Giroux expresses core truths through his insightful and heartfelt poem. (Picture book. 5-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 28, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-7643-6241-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Schiffer

Review Posted Online: Aug. 10, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

Next book


A sweet and endearing feathered migration.

A relationship between a Latina grandmother and her mixed-race granddaughter serves as the frame to depict the ruby-throated hummingbird migration pattern.

In Granny’s lap, a girl is encouraged to “keep still” as the intergenerational pair awaits the ruby-throated hummingbirds with bowls of water in their hands. But like the granddaughter, the tz’unun—“the word for hummingbird in several [Latin American] languages”—must soon fly north. Over the next several double-page spreads, readers follow the ruby-throated hummingbird’s migration pattern from Central America and Mexico through the United States all the way to Canada. Davies metaphorically reunites the granddaughter and grandmother when “a visitor from Granny’s garden” crosses paths with the girl in New York City. Ray provides delicately hashed lines in the illustrations that bring the hummingbirds’ erratic flight pattern to life as they travel north. The watercolor palette is injected with vibrancy by the addition of gold ink, mirroring the hummingbirds’ flashing feathers in the slants of light. The story is supplemented by notes on different pages with facts about the birds such as their nest size, diet, and flight schedule. In addition, a note about ruby-throated hummingbirds supplies readers with detailed information on how ornithologists study and keep track of these birds.

A sweet and endearing feathered migration. (bibliography, index) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0538-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

Next book


Hundreds of pages of unbridled uplift boiled down to 40.

From two Nobel Peace Prize winners, an invitation to look past sadness and loneliness to the joy that surrounds us.

Bobbing in the wake of 2016’s heavyweight Book of Joy (2016), this brief but buoyant address to young readers offers an earnest insight: “If you just focus on the thing that is making / you sad, then the sadness is all you see. / But if you look around, you will / see that joy is everywhere.” López expands the simply delivered proposal in fresh and lyrical ways—beginning with paired scenes of the authors as solitary children growing up in very different circumstances on (as they put it) “opposite sides of the world,” then meeting as young friends bonded by streams of rainbow bunting and going on to share their exuberantly hued joy with a group of dancers diverse in terms of age, race, culture, and locale while urging readers to do the same. Though on the whole this comes off as a bit bland (the banter and hilarity that characterized the authors’ recorded interchanges are absent here) and their advice just to look away from the sad things may seem facile in view of what too many children are inescapably faced with, still, it’s hard to imagine anyone in the world more qualified to deliver such a message than these two. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Hundreds of pages of unbridled uplift boiled down to 40. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-48423-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2022

Close Quickview