Another pointless entry in a series intended to inspire more than inform.

I AM ALBERT EINSTEIN

From the Ordinary People Change the World series

The brilliant 20th-century scientist exhorts readers to keep asking questions.

Meltzer presents Einstein from birth through childhood and adulthood as one who always thought carefully before speaking and loved his head of hair. Apparently, one of the white-haired, mustachioed tot’s first sentences was: “My hair is so AWESOME!” As a young boy, he decides to figure out “Why did the universe behave the way it did?” From there, it is a fast trip to playing the violin, studying math and the famous equation E=mc2, which is not well-explained in the text. Of far greater importance is the exhortation that readers should value curiosity, difference and learning—all of which could lead to inspiration. There is no backmatter and no sourcing for a concluding quotation, but two pages of photographs are credited. The author provides no additional biographical information about Einstein’s incredibly multifaceted life. Eliopoulos’ digitally rendered cartoon illustrations are caricature more than representation. As in previous titles in the series, Einstein has a large, round head; his is adorned with the scientist’s signature mop of white hair and full mustache from birth. It is an oxymoron to include his life in a series about “ordinary people.”

Another pointless entry in a series intended to inspire more than inform. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 16, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8037-4084-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

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A TREE IS NICE

A nursery school approach to a general concept. "A tree is nice"- Why? Because..."We can climb the tree...play pirate ship...pick the apples...build playhouses out of the leaves. A tree is nice to hang a swing in...Birds build nests in trees... Sticks come off trees...People have picnics there too"...etc. etc. One follows the give and take of a shared succession of reactions to what a tree- or trees- can mean. There is a kind of poetic simplicity that is innate in small children. Marc Simont has made the pictures, half in full color, and they too have a childlike directness (with an underlying sophistication that adults will recognize). Not a book for everyone -but those who like it will like it immensely. The format (6 x 11) makes it a difficult book for shelving, so put it in the "clean hands" section of flat books. Here's your first book for Arbor Day use- a good spring and summer item.

Pub Date: June 15, 1956

ISBN: 978-0-06-443147-7

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Harper

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1956

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Instills a sense of well-being in youngsters while encouraging them to explore the natural world.

YOU ARE HOME WITH ME

This reassuring picture book exemplifies how parents throughout the animal kingdom make homes for their offspring.

The narrative is written from the point of view of a parent talking to their child: “If you were a beaver, I would gnaw on trees with my teeth to build a cozy lodge for us to sleep in during the day.” Text appears in big, easy-to-read type, with the name of the creature in boldface. Additional facts about the animal appear in a smaller font, such as: “Beavers have transparent eyelids to help them see under water.” The gathering of land, air, and water animals includes a raven, a flying squirrel, and a sea lion. “Home” might be a nest, a den, or a burrow. One example, of a blue whale who has homes in the north and south (ocean is implied), will help children stretch the concept into feeling at home in the larger world. Illustrations of the habitats have an inviting luminosity. Mature and baby animals are realistically depicted, although facial features appear to have been somewhat softened, perhaps to appeal to young readers. The book ends with the comforting scene of a human parent and child silhouetted in the welcoming lights of the house they approach: “Wherever you may be, you will always have a home with me.”

Instills a sense of well-being in youngsters while encouraging them to explore the natural world. (Informational picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-63217-224-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little Bigfoot/Sasquatch

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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