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

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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Though usually cast as the trickster, Coyote is more victim than victimizer, making this a nice complement to other Coyote...

COYOTE TALES

Two republished tales by a Greco-Cherokee author feature both folkloric and modern elements as well as new illustrations.

One of the two has never been offered south of the (Canadian) border. In “Coyote Sings to the Moon,” the doo-wop hymn sung nightly by Old Woman and all the animals except tone-deaf Coyote isn’t enough to keep Moon from hiding out at the bottom of the lake—until she is finally driven forth by Coyote’s awful wailing. She has been trying to return to the lake ever since, but that piercing howl keeps her in the sky. In “Coyote’s New Suit” he is schooled in trickery by Raven, who convinces him to steal the pelts of all the other animals while they’re bathing, sends the bare animals to take clothes from the humans’ clothesline, and then sets the stage for a ruckus by suggesting that Coyote could make space in his overcrowded closet by having a yard sale. No violence ensues, but from then to now humans and animals have not spoken to one another. In Eggenschwiler’s monochrome scenes Coyote and the rest stand on hind legs and (when stripped bare) sport human limbs. Old Woman might be Native American; the only other completely human figure is a pale-skinned girl.

Though usually cast as the trickster, Coyote is more victim than victimizer, making this a nice complement to other Coyote tales. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: Oct. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-55498-833-4

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Groundwood

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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THE GRAPES OF MATH

MIND-STRETCHING MATH RIDDLES

This genuinely clever math book uses rhyming couplets and riddles, as well as visual cues to help the reader find new ways to group numbers for quick counting. It’s a return to number sets, with none of those boring parentheses and <>signs. Here the rhyme gives a clue to the new ways of grouping numbers. For example: “Mama mia, pizza pie, / How many mushrooms do you spy? / Please don’t count them, it’s too slow, / This hot pie was made to go! / Let me give you some advice, / Just do half and count it twice.” A quick look at the pizza, and the reader can see each slice has the same number of mushrooms. Count by threes for half the pie, and double it. Each rhyme is given a double-page spread. The extra-large, brightly colored images leap off the page but never distract from the author’s intent. Some riddles are very challenging, but the author provides all the solutions in the back. Once the reader has seen the answers, the strategy is obvious and can be applied to other situations. Great fun for math enthusiasts and creative thinkers, this might also teach adults some new tricks. A winning addition. (Nonfiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-439-21033-X

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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