SENSE SUSPENSE

A GUESSING GAME FOR THE FIVE SENSES

Despite the clever title, there's not a great deal of suspense here—no more than is afforded by turning a page to discover the identity of artfully composed close-ups. Still, McMillan (Penguins at Home, 1993, etc.) has entwined several concepts and activities with his usual skill. Once the enlarged glimpse of a segment of a resplendent lollipop, a palm branch, a thorn, a steel drum, or a parrot's beak is decoded (in most cases the succeeding fuller image will be essential), the reader is asked what senses may be used to perceive it. These are given in both Spanish and English (``I see/Yo veo''), as is a recapitulation of the most likely responses with the names of the items (``smell an onion/oler una cebolla''). The handsome photos, featuring a pair of infectiously grinning primary-age kids, were taken on the island of Culebra, now a part of Puerto Rico. An attractive, well-constructed concept book. (Note; map; aerial photo) (Nonfiction/Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-590-47904-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1994

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Vital messages of self-love for darker-skinned children.

THE NIGHT IS YOURS

On hot summer nights, Amani’s parents permit her to go outside and play in the apartment courtyard, where the breeze is cool and her friends are waiting.

The children jump rope to the sounds of music as it floats through a neighbor’s window, gaze at stars in the night sky, and play hide-and-seek in the moonlight. It is in the moonlight that Amani and her friends are themselves found by the moon, and it illumines the many shades of their skin, which vary from light tan to deep brown. In a world where darkness often evokes ideas of evil or fear, this book is a celebration of things that are dark and beautiful—like a child’s dark skin and the night in which she plays. The lines “Show everyone else how to embrace the night like you. Teach them how to be a night-owning girl like you” are as much an appeal for her to love and appreciate her dark skin as they are the exhortation for Amani to enjoy the night. There is a sense of security that flows throughout this book. The courtyard is safe and homelike. The moon, like an additional parent, seems to be watching the children from the sky. The charming full-bleed illustrations, done in washes of mostly deep blues and greens, make this a wonderful bedtime story.

Vital messages of self-love for darker-skinned children. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: July 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-55271-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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SAY HELLO!

Today Carmelita visits her Abuela Rosa, but to get there she must walk. Down Ninth Avenue she strolls with her mother and dog. Colorful shops and congenial neighbors greet them along the way, and at each stop Carmelita says hello—in Spanish, Arabic, Hebrew and more. With a friendly “Jambo” for Joseph, a “Bonjour” at the bakery and an affectionate “Hey” for Max and Angel, the pig-tailed girl happily exercises her burgeoning multilingual skills. Her world is a vibrant community, where neighborliness, camaraderie and culture are celebrated. Isadora’s collaged artwork, reminiscent of Ezra Jack Keats, contains lovely edges and imperfections, which abet the feeling of an urban environment. Skillfully, she draws with her scissors, the cut-paper elements acting as her line work. Everything has a texture and surface, and with almost no solid colors, the city street is realized as a real, organic place. Readers will fall for the sociable Carmelita as they proudly learn a range of salutations, and the artist’s rich environment, packed with hidden details and charming animals, will delight readers with each return visit. Simply enchanting. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-399-25230-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2010

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