Not quite the whole story, but a pleasant, tidy start.

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ELECTRICITY IN YOUR LIFE

A first look at what electricity does, where it comes from, and how to behave around it.

Beginning with toast, jam, and cartoons on TV, Seo explains that electricity is the “food and energy” not only for home appliances, but for those in hospitals and factories too. The facial features of human figures in Kwak’s neatly drawn scenes hint at this import’s Korean origin—as does the rice cooker in the kitchen and the round two-prong electrical sockets in the house’s walls. The narrator’s rather mild “It’s so inconvenient with no electricity!” in the wake of a blackout partway through may strike American readers as odd, particularly as characters speak of having to “walk up 15 floors” and lament their melted ice cream in addition to being unable to use the computer for homework or games. This is by no means a complete story. Seo explains that electricity comes through a “long and lengthy wire” from power plants that use water, wind, and sunlight—a decidedly incomplete tally of energy sources for both Korea and the United States. Furthermore, there is no mention of AC/DC, and batteries are relegated to an afterthought. Still, in general the wiring and other infrastructure, the various rooms, buildings, and subways visible in cutaway views, and the appliances on display are familiar enough to translate smoothly.

Not quite the whole story, but a pleasant, tidy start. (Informational picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-939248-16-9

Page Count: 30

Publisher: TanTan

Review Posted Online: Feb. 20, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2017

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Earnest and silly by turns, it doesn’t quite capture the attention or the imagination, although surely its heart is in the...

ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER

Rhymed couplets convey the story of a girl who likes to build things but is shy about it. Neither the poetry nor Rosie’s projects always work well.

Rosie picks up trash and oddments where she finds them, stashing them in her attic room to work on at night. Once, she made a hat for her favorite zookeeper uncle to keep pythons away, and he laughed so hard that she never made anything publicly again. But when her great-great-aunt Rose comes to visit and reminds Rosie of her own past building airplanes, she expresses her regret that she still has not had the chance to fly. Great-great-aunt Rose is visibly modeled on Rosie the Riveter, the iconic, red-bandanna–wearing poster woman from World War II. Rosie decides to build a flying machine and does so (it’s a heli-o-cheese-copter), but it fails. She’s just about to swear off making stuff forever when Aunt Rose congratulates her on her failure; now she can go on to try again. Rosie wears her hair swooped over one eye (just like great-great-aunt Rose), and other figures have exaggerated hairdos, tiny feet and elongated or greatly rounded bodies. The detritus of Rosie’s collections is fascinating, from broken dolls and stuffed animals to nails, tools, pencils, old lamps and possibly an erector set. And cheddar-cheese spray.

Earnest and silly by turns, it doesn’t quite capture the attention or the imagination, although surely its heart is in the right place. (historical note) (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0845-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2013

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An object lesson in the value of patience as well as a droll introduction to meta-what-now.

THE VERY IMPATIENT CATERPILLAR

Not every caterpillar gets the memo—or is, for that matter, temperamentally suited to spending two weeks immobilized in a chrysalis.

Seeing everyone headed up a tree (“We’re going to metamorphosize.” “Meta-WHAT-now?”) a clueless caterpillar hurries to follow. Despite the promise of a dazzling transformation, every step in the natural process, from spinning a chrysalis on, is an occasion for histrionic dismay (“It’s STILL Day 1?” “This is taking FOR-EV-ER!”). Gradually, though, the pop-eyed pupa’s kvetching quiets, the moans and groans turn to meditation (“Be one with the chrysalis”), and two weeks later: “I did it! I’m a BUTTERFLY!” Burach chronicles this miracle of nature in cartoon scenes as loud as the rapid patter, culminating in a migratory flight of butterflies and a final “ARE WE THERE YET?!” that hints at a character transformation that’s perhaps less complete than the physical one. It won’t be just adults chuckling at the interactions between the title character and its patiently pupating companions; all the characters speak in dialogue balloons, the protagonist’s green with purple text to match its chrysalis.

An object lesson in the value of patience as well as a droll introduction to meta-what-now. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-28941-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

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