An informative, exciting book about a truly valuable topic.

WHAT'S COLLEGE ABOUT ANYWAY?

A debut overview of university life written for very young students.

In an elementary classroom setting, Miss Sims begins a discussion about college, “where you can learn to be whatever you want to be when you grow up.” The students, when asked about their aspirations, eagerly share their lofty dreams, such as becoming a doctor, a teacher, or a pilot. The teacher then briefly explains some of the logistics of college—such as how to pay for it with scholarships, loans, and jobs—before delving into its exciting opportunities: meeting new people, volunteering in the community, participating in school organizations, and even studying abroad. At the end, she asks, “Who thinks they’ll go to college someday?” And the response is a resounding affirmative. Patterson does a fantastic job of presenting the most important and thrilling parts of the college experience, which will surely motivate young students to later attend. The noticeable diversity among the students (black, white, and Asian; male and female) sends a clear message that anyone can pursue higher education (“You can be the first in your family to go”). Also, Prajogo’s (Banana Chronicles: The Lost Medallion, 2017, etc.) vivid illustrations with a chalkboard-green theme capture the excitement of education and even show the kids as young adults.

An informative, exciting book about a truly valuable topic.

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68401-385-2

Page Count: 38

Publisher: Mascot Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2018

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ABIYOYO RETURNS

The seemingly ageless Seeger brings back his renowned giant for another go in a tuneful tale that, like the art, is a bit sketchy, but chockful of worthy messages. Faced with yearly floods and droughts since they’ve cut down all their trees, the townsfolk decide to build a dam—but the project is stymied by a boulder that is too huge to move. Call on Abiyoyo, suggests the granddaughter of the man with the magic wand, then just “Zoop Zoop” him away again. But the rock that Abiyoyo obligingly flings aside smashes the wand. How to avoid Abiyoyo’s destruction now? Sing the monster to sleep, then make it a peaceful, tree-planting member of the community, of course. Seeger sums it up in a postscript: “every community must learn to manage its giants.” Hays, who illustrated the original (1986), creates colorful, if unfinished-looking, scenes featuring a notably multicultural human cast and a towering Cubist fantasy of a giant. The song, based on a Xhosa lullaby, still has that hard-to-resist sing-along potential, and the themes of waging peace, collective action, and the benefits of sound ecological practices are presented in ways that children will both appreciate and enjoy. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-83271-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2001

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THE LORAX

The greening of Dr. Seuss, in an ecology fable with an obvious message but a savingly silly style. In the desolate land of the Lifted Lorax, an aged creature called the Once-ler tells a young visitor how he arrived long ago in the then glorious country and began manufacturing anomalous objects called Thneeds from "the bright-colored tufts of the Truffula Trees." Despite protests from the Lorax, a native "who speaks for the trees," he continues to chop down Truffulas until he drives away the Brown Bar-ba-loots who had fed on the Tuffula fruit, the Swomee-Swans who can't sing a note for the smogulous smoke, and the Humming-Fish who had hummed in the pond now glumped up with Gluppity-Glupp. As for the Once-let, "1 went right on biggering, selling more Thneeds./ And I biggered my money, which everyone needs" — until the last Truffula falls. But one seed is left, and the Once-let hands it to his listener, with a message from the Lorax: "UNLESS someone like you/ cares a whole awful lot,/ nothing is going to get better./ It's not." The spontaneous madness of the old Dr. Seuss is absent here, but so is the boredom he often induced (in parents, anyway) with one ridiculous invention after another. And if the Once-let doesn't match the Grinch for sheer irresistible cussedness, he is stealing a lot more than Christmas and his story just might induce a generation of six-year-olds to care a whole lot.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 1971

ISBN: 0394823370

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1971

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