The book is fun to look at, but it imparts so little real information that it really is not much use as a guide to different...

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METROPOLIS

Thirty-four large cities of the world are illustrated in posterlike double-page spreads.

Each spread provides a selective guide to the tourist sites and important features of each city, including topography, architecture, typical cuisine, recreational activities, notable public artworks, historical features, sports arenas, and local customs. Tardif’s whimsical, colorful, graphically simple illustrations are arranged in a rough grid on the page, with a brief caption for each picture and the occasional speech bubble. There is no narrative to speak of, making this a difficult book for many American children to understand, and likewise for parents or teachers to communicate, given that few of them would have enough extraneous knowledge of such relatively obscure cities as Fez, Mumbai or Seoul to fill in the gaps. This unfortunately tends to reinforce stereotyping of people and places (Romans drive small Italian cars, eat pizza, and drink espresso; residents of Buenos Aires dance the tango, play soccer, and eat chorizo sandwiches). Most of the people depicted appear to be of the majority race in their respective countries. A brief glossary lists the few non-English words included, and endpapers show a world map marking the locations of the cities discussed.

The book is fun to look at, but it imparts so little real information that it really is not much use as a guide to different cities or the cultures they represent. (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 4, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-77138-721-7

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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A validating and breathtaking next chapter of a Mother Goose favorite.

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AFTER THE FALL (HOW HUMPTY DUMPTY GOT BACK UP AGAIN)

Humpty Dumpty, classically portrayed as an egg, recounts what happened after he fell off the wall in Santat’s latest.

An avid ornithophile, Humpty had loved being atop a high wall to be close to the birds, but after his fall and reassembly by the king’s men, high places—even his lofted bed—become intolerable. As he puts it, “There were some parts that couldn’t be healed with bandages and glue.” Although fear bars Humpty from many of his passions, it is the birds he misses the most, and he painstakingly builds (after several papercut-punctuated attempts) a beautiful paper plane to fly among them. But when the plane lands on the very wall Humpty has so doggedly been avoiding, he faces the choice of continuing to follow his fear or to break free of it, which he does, going from cracked egg to powerful flight in a sequence of stunning spreads. Santat applies his considerable talent for intertwining visual and textual, whimsy and gravity to his consideration of trauma and the oft-overlooked importance of self-determined recovery. While this newest addition to Santat’s successes will inevitably (and deservedly) be lauded, younger readers may not notice the de-emphasis of an equally important part of recovery: that it is not compulsory—it is OK not to be OK.

A validating and breathtaking next chapter of a Mother Goose favorite. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62672-682-6

Page Count: 45

Publisher: Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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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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