For a preteen who enjoys writing her thoughts and a mom whose relationship with her daughter is already good, this...



A “How-to-Say-It” package about preteen physical, emotional, and social concerns for mothers and their daughters.

The period between childhood and adulthood can be challenging to navigate. This boxed set includes two 48-page paperbacks, one for mom and one for her daughter, and a much longer blank journal with writing prompts for the two to share. They follow the pediatrician/author’s highly successful titles about girls’ changing bodies and feelings and a similar but preteen-directed journal some users have chosen to share with parents. Topics covered include personal concerns (hygiene, nutrition, exercise, sleep, safety, body changes, periods, beauty, clothing, eating disorders) and relations with the outside world of family, friends, the Internet, romance, and time management. Each double-page spread addresses a separate topic and includes “how to say it” prompts. There are conversation starters, talking tips, and sensible suggestions about negotiating the social-media world, including a sample family contract. Appealing cartoon illustrations show a range of girls and mother-daughter pairs who are clearly communicating. The “completely private” journal has color-coded pages to indicate mother, daughter, and joint entries, as well as similarly coded ribbons to mark pages. The pages labeled “TOP SECRET” seem to contradict the open approach.

For a preteen who enjoys writing her thoughts and a mom whose relationship with her daughter is already good, this well-meant offering might help ease the pair through a difficult time. (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60958-978-3

Page Count: 92

Publisher: American Girl

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2015

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Adults may have to force-feed this purposive book to those not yet committed to the important causes outlined here.



"Organic," "sustainable" and "food miles" all appear in the comprehensive glossary of this book, whose simple title and cover photograph imply a basic approach to the international topic of food.

This very political book, biased toward food equity, explains why certain foods are eaten in certain countries and why school lunches are important. They fill various needs, from the teaching of courtesy and table manners in France and Japan to the supply of basic nutrients for Somali children in refugee-camp schools. Efforts to improve children’s eating habits, curb obesity, encourage use of local crops and provide food to students with limited economic resources are discussed. As the book is from Canada, naturally there are some references to that country in many of the comparisons. Though published in a seemingly picture-book format, the text is complex. Most two-page spreads describe school lunchtime in an individual country, with a cartoonish illustration on the left and a large photograph of a typical meal on the right with numbered arrows pointing to particular elements. Lengthy captions are keyed to each number. Small globe images in each spread point out countries, but larger maps and a bibliography would be useful. “The Message to Parents, Teachers and Students” provides project ideas.

Adults may have to force-feed this purposive book to those not yet committed to the important causes outlined here. (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-88995-482-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Red Deer Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2012

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Meditative, devotional, and vital.



Relationships between people and land, grandfather and granddaughter, frame a story on the significance of treaties.

Whether spending time “on and with the river” researching and restocking sturgeon, leading mapping projects dedicated to highlighting original place names in Anishinaabemowin, or heading “into the bush” alone every spring, Mishomis has lived a full life “out on the land.” In order to impart lessons from his life and teach his granddaughter about the importance of maintaining a connection to place, he sits with her along a river bank. There, they “let the silence speak” until the sounds of nature provide an opportunity for him to remind her of her “responsibilities to this land and water, and to their stories.” But perhaps the most important teaching he hopes she carries forward—one rooted in the first treaty made “between the earth and the sky”—is the power of working together and acting with “respect, reciprocity and renewal.” Appropriately, this unique story’s plot doesn’t follow the typical narrative structure that revolves around conflict. Attorney Craft’s (Anishinaabe Métis) lyrical prose, richly layered with Anishinaabe language, culture, and philosophy, centers the story on an Indigenous understanding of treaties in their truest sense, as “agreements to make relationships.” Swinson’s (Anishinaabe) beautifully colored illustrations rendered in an arresting graphic style give a decidedly modern feel to a story that links generations. Its unusually small trim (4.5-by-6.5 inches) means it can travel in pockets as readers themselves engage with the land.

Meditative, devotional, and vital. (author’s note) (Picture book. 9-12)

Pub Date: March 9, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-77321-496-2

Page Count: 60

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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