Small gestures have large rewards—everyone could do with a little inspiration of how to spread some happy.

READ REVIEW

DO NICE BE KIND SPREAD HAPPY

ACTS OF KINDNESS FOR KIDS

Over 75 acts of kindness for kids to share.

Inspired to do one act of kindness every day for 366 days (it was a leap year) after the 2011 U.K. riots, Russell is now spreading her creative ideas with children. She encourages them to become undercover agents in the Kindness Club and commit acts of “ninja niceness.” Suggestions range from the simple (smile at someone—in fact, keep a tally of how many smiles are returned and have a competition with a friend) to the sly (commit a “reverse robbery” by sneaking a treat into someone’s pocket or bag, instead of out!). Or why not be completely wacky and create a “welcome home” banner for mom or dad, on an ordinary day? With bold colors and a smattering of varied typefaces and patterns, even the design of the book radiates joy. Adults may be wary of interactions with strangers, but the acts can be limited to family or friends if nervous. Suitable for a wide variety of ages, in any part of the country, acts of kindness have no boundaries. Russell does encourage writing in the book, with a small box in each section to check when completed, but that shouldn’t deter library purchases.

Small gestures have large rewards—everyone could do with a little inspiration of how to spread some happy. (Nonfiction. 7-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-61067-255-9

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2015

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A rich source of terrors both real and manufactured, equally effective in broad daylight or beneath the bedcovers.

DON'T READ THIS BOOK BEFORE BED

THRILLS, CHILLS, AND HAUNTINGLY TRUE STORIES

A compendium of paranormal doings, natural horrors, and eerie wonders worldwide and (in several senses) beyond.

Maladroit title aside (“…in Bed” would make more sense, cautionwise), this collection of hauntings, cryptids, natural and historical mysteries, and general titillation (“Vampire bats might be coming for you!”) offers a broad array of reasons to stay wide awake. Arranged in no discernible order the 60-plus entries include ghostly sightings in the White House and various castles, body-burrowing guinea worms, the Nazca lines of Peru, Mothman and Nessie, the hastily abandoned city of Pripyat (which, thanks to the Chernobyl disaster, may be habitable again…in 24,000 years), monarch-butterfly migrations, and diverse rains of fish, frogs, fireballs, and unidentified slime. Each is presented in a busy whirl of narrative blocks, photos, graphics, side comments, and arbitrary “Fright-O-Meter” ratings (Paris’ “Creepy Catacombs” earn just a “4” out of 10 and black holes a “3,” but the aforementioned aerial amphibians a full “10”). The headers tend toward the lurid: “Jelly From Space,” “Zombie Ants,” “Mongolian Death Worm.” Claybourne sprinkles multiple-choice pop quizzes throughout for changes of pace.

A rich source of terrors both real and manufactured, equally effective in broad daylight or beneath the bedcovers. (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4263-2841-1

Page Count: 144

Publisher: National Geographic

Review Posted Online: May 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

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THE ARABIAN NIGHTS

In a large, handsome format, Tarnowska offers six tales plus an abbreviated version of the frame story, retold in formal but contemporary language and sandwiched between a note on the Nights’ place in her childhood in Lebanon and a page of glossary and source notes. Rather than preserve the traditional embedded structure and cliffhanger cutoffs, she keeps each story discrete and tones down the sex and violence. This structure begs the question of why Shahriyar lets Shahrazade [sic] live if she tells each evening’s tale complete, but it serves to simplify the reading for those who want just one tale at a time. Only the opener, “Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp,” is likely to be familiar to young readers; in others a prince learns to control a flying “Ebony Horse” by “twiddling” its ears, contending djinn argue whether “Prince Kamar el Zaman [or] Princess Boudour” is the more beautiful (the prince wins) and in a Cinderella tale a “Diamond Anklet” subs for the glass slipper. Hénaff’s stylized scenes of domed cityscapes and turbaned figures add properly whimsical visual notes to this short but animated gathering. (Folktales. 10-12)

 

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-84686-122-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Barefoot

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2010

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