A fun thought-provoker for the scientifically inclined.

SUPER SANTA

THE SCIENCE OF CHRISTMAS

Scientific and mathematical considerations go into Santa’s round-the-world-in-one-night deliveries.

How many presents have been made at the workshop? How many miles will the sleigh travel in one night? How heavy are the stacks and stacks of toys? What kind of equipment is needed for all that weight traveling at such a high speed to stop on a roof? And what kind of heat- and pressure-proof suit must Santa wear underneath his red one to withstand the journey? All of this and more has been taken care of. Even when the conveyor belt jams and Santa leaves a half-hour late, he has the smarts to make up for lost time by flying east to west across the international date line. He completes his successful mission, devouring his 400 million cookies along the way. Readers are encouraged to remember the supportive Mrs. Claus and the tech-savvy elves when they’re opening their presents. Bright, busy illustrations dash from scene to scene with a frantic energy. A broad-chested White Santa Claus and a cheerful White Mrs. Claus oversee a team of elves with diverse skin tones and hair textures. This book will likely be a hit with precocious youngsters who are already skeptical of the Santa Claus tale. Others may prefer not to let the realities of science question their magic just yet. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A fun thought-provoker for the scientifically inclined. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-298363-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

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A touching, beautifully illustrated story of greatest interest to those in the New York City area.

RED AND LULU

A pair of cardinals is separated and then reunited when their tree home is moved to New York City to serve as the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.

The male cardinal, Red, and his female partner, Lulu, enjoy their home in a huge evergreen tree located in the front yard of a small house in a pleasant neighborhood. When the tree is cut down and hauled away on a truck, Lulu is still inside the tree. Red follows the truck into the city but loses sight of it and gets lost. The birds are reunited when Red finds the tree transformed with colored lights and serving as the Christmas tree in a complex of city buildings. When the tree is removed after Christmas, the birds find a new home in a nearby park. Each following Christmas, the pair visit the new tree erected in the same location. Attractive illustrations effectively handle some difficult challenges of dimension and perspective and create a glowing, magical atmosphere for the snowy Christmas trees. The original owners of the tree are a multiracial family with two children; the father is African-American and the mother is white. The family is in the background in the early pages, reappearing again skating on the rink at Rockefeller Center with their tree in the background.

A touching, beautifully illustrated story of greatest interest to those in the New York City area. (author’s note) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7733-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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Essential—the energetic narrative and uplifting illustrations will inspire and empower young readers to get out the vote.

VOTE FOR OUR FUTURE!

The children of fictional Stanton Elementary School educate themselves and their community about the vote in this picture book.

With its illustrations of simple shapes in bright colors imbuing a sense of positive action and a diverse cast of characters, this picture book rocks—and that’s even before the narrative takes hold. When Stanton’s students learn that their school becomes a polling station every two years, they want to be part of it—but learn they can’t vote until they are 18. Undeterred, they take action. The kids do their research and then engage their community to encourage those of voting age to go to the polls. They go door to door with voter-guide pamphlets, they hold a bake sale (with clever reminders like “Donut forget to vote”), and remind their families to vote. Each child-empowering scenario is paired with an adult’s excuse (“I’ll be away”; “I’m not even registered”; “I can’t walk so far”), and with each comment, the kids have an answer that draws on their research: “You can vote by mail”; “It’s not hard to register”; “A volunteer can drive you!” These kids mean business; it’s their future after all. Children and adults depicted represent a range of skin colors, hair textures, and gender presentations; one girl and her aunt wear hijab. Backmatter includes a quick listing of kid-relevant federal legislation.

Essential—the energetic narrative and uplifting illustrations will inspire and empower young readers to get out the vote. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-9280-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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