One can only wish that “world pizza” could solve our planet’s problems.

READ REVIEW

WORLD PIZZA

Many people wish fervently for world peace, and the mom in this picture book is no different.

When a white mom in an interracial family wishes on a star for world peace and then sneezes, the words sound like “world pizza,” or at least that’s what her sons think. Suddenly a delicious pizza drops from the sky. Unbeknownst to the family, pizzas of many different flavors start dropping all over the world, and behavior changes. Bullies become friendly, pirates stop fighting, and “angry neighbors with tall fences and locked doors” explore the world outside. The digital illustrations have a painterly feeling, but unfortunately, the usual stereotypes show up: a pirate in an eye patch, an Arctic Native in a fur-trimmed parka, and unnamed Africans in grass skirts. Other illustrations show familiar scenes of parades and playgrounds with diverse groups of people. The wishful mama never realizes the world has changed, although her family is “cozy in the warmth of their peaceful dreams. / And everyone was happy” in the universe that visually expands out of her sons’ deep blue quilt. The gentle text, however unrealistic, does have a very positive outlook. The unusual pizza ingredients named in the text are strewn across the inside covers—pickles, marshmallows, cherries, and chocolate chips—but (perhaps thankfully) no recipes are included.

One can only wish that “world pizza” could solve our planet’s problems. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 6, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4549-1946-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2017

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A close encounter of the best kind.

FIELD TRIP TO THE MOON

Left behind when the space bus departs, a child discovers that the moon isn’t as lifeless as it looks.

While the rest of the space-suited class follows the teacher like ducklings, one laggard carrying crayons and a sketchbook sits down to draw our home planet floating overhead, falls asleep, and wakes to see the bus zooming off. The bright yellow bus, the gaggle of playful field-trippers, and even the dull gray boulders strewn over the equally dull gray lunar surface have a rounded solidity suggestive of Plasticine models in Hare’s wordless but cinematic scenes…as do the rubbery, one-eyed, dull gray creatures (think: those stress-busting dolls with ears that pop out when squeezed) that emerge from the regolith. The mutual shock lasts but a moment before the lunarians eagerly grab the proffered crayons to brighten the bland gray setting with silly designs. The creatures dive into the dust when the bus swoops back down but pop up to exchange goodbye waves with the errant child, who turns out to be an olive-skinned kid with a mop of brown hair last seen drawing one of their new friends with the one crayon—gray, of course—left in the box. Body language is expressive enough in this debut outing to make a verbal narrative superfluous.

A close encounter of the best kind. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4253-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Margaret Ferguson/Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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A gentle adventure that sets the stage for future quests.

THE LOST STONE

From the The Kingdom of Wrenly series , Vol. 1

A lonely prince gains a friend for a quest to find a missing jewel.

Prince Lucas of Wrenly has everything a boy could possibly want—except a friend. His father has forbidden him to play with the village children for reasons of propriety. Adventure-seeking Lucas acquires peasant clothes to masquerade as a commoner and make friends, but he is caught out. His mother, the queen, persuades the king to allow him one friend: Clara, the daughter of her personal dressmaker. When the queen’s prized emerald pendant goes missing, Lucas and Clara set off to find it. They follow the jewel as it changes hands, interviewing each temporary owner. Their adventure cleverly introduces the series’ world and peoples, taking the children to the fairy island of Primlox, the trolls’ home of Burth, the wizard island of Hobsgrove and finally Mermaid’s Cove. By befriending the mermaids, Lucas and Clara finally recover the jewel. In thanks, the king gives Clara a horse of her own so that she may ride with Lucas on their future adventures. The third-person narration is generally unobtrusive, allowing the characters to take center stage. The charming, medieval-flavored illustrations set the fairy-tale scene and take up enough page space that new and reluctant readers won’t be overwhelmed by text.

 A gentle adventure that sets the stage for future quests. (Fantasy. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-9691-0

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2014

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