A well-constructed tale with a worthy premise.

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THE SURVIVOR TREE

INSPIRED BY A TRUE STORY

In Aubin’s debut picture book inspired by a true story, the 9/11 Survivor Tree is nursed back to life.

A badly damaged Callery pear tree is found in the rubble of the World Trade Center. Although she is scared, the tree is taken to a nursery where a city parks worker named Richie treats her with great care. As the tree recuperates, she recalls her experiences when she stood tall in New York City—watching ice skaters in the plaza during winter and seeing the budding romance of two people who ate lunch under her leaves. The tree’s resilience gives hope to those who are sad, including a New York City firefighter who thanks her for surviving. When the tree recovers, Richie tells her that she will return to New York City as part of the 9/11 memorial. She is introduced in a special ceremony and dubbed the “9/11 Survivor Tree.” The author anthropomorphizes the tree, giving the story an intimate, personal tone. The descriptions often illuminate the tree’s emotions during her healing process. Aubin writes: “As they gently tamped the soft, rich soil around her roots, the tree felt as if she were being wrapped in a warm blanket and started to feel a little safer.” Longer and denser than most picture books, this is a better pick for older readers. Harrington’s colorful, watercolor illustrations add a dreamy quality to the story. All profits from the sale of this book are donated to charity.

A well-constructed tale with a worthy premise.

Pub Date: July 29, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-9838334-0-6

Page Count: 35

Publisher: Callery Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 4, 2017

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The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and...

WAITING FOR THE BIBLIOBURRO

Inspired by Colombian librarian Luis Soriano Bohórquez, Brown’s latest tells of a little girl whose wish comes true when a librarian and two book-laden burros visit her remote village.

Ana loves to read and spends all of her free time either reading alone or to her younger brother. She knows every word of the one book she owns. Although she uses her imagination to create fantastical bedtime tales for her brother, she really wants new books to read. Everything changes when a traveling librarian and his two donkeys, Alfa and Beto, arrive in the village. Besides loaning books to the children until his next visit, the unnamed man also reads them stories and teaches the younger children the alphabet. When Ana suggests that someone write a book about the traveling library, he encourages her to complete this task herself. After she reads her library books, Ana writes her own story for the librarian and gives it to him upon his reappearance—and he makes it part of his biblioburro collection. Parra’s colorful folk-style illustrations of acrylics on board bring Ana’s real and imaginary worlds to life. This is a child-centered complement to Jeanette Winter’s Biblioburro (2010), which focuses on Soriano.

The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and “iii-aah” adding to the fun.   (author’s note, glossary of Spanish terms) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 12, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58246-353-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tricycle

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2011

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THE LORAX

The greening of Dr. Seuss, in an ecology fable with an obvious message but a savingly silly style. In the desolate land of the Lifted Lorax, an aged creature called the Once-ler tells a young visitor how he arrived long ago in the then glorious country and began manufacturing anomalous objects called Thneeds from "the bright-colored tufts of the Truffula Trees." Despite protests from the Lorax, a native "who speaks for the trees," he continues to chop down Truffulas until he drives away the Brown Bar-ba-loots who had fed on the Tuffula fruit, the Swomee-Swans who can't sing a note for the smogulous smoke, and the Humming-Fish who had hummed in the pond now glumped up with Gluppity-Glupp. As for the Once-let, "1 went right on biggering, selling more Thneeds./ And I biggered my money, which everyone needs" — until the last Truffula falls. But one seed is left, and the Once-let hands it to his listener, with a message from the Lorax: "UNLESS someone like you/ cares a whole awful lot,/ nothing is going to get better./ It's not." The spontaneous madness of the old Dr. Seuss is absent here, but so is the boredom he often induced (in parents, anyway) with one ridiculous invention after another. And if the Once-let doesn't match the Grinch for sheer irresistible cussedness, he is stealing a lot more than Christmas and his story just might induce a generation of six-year-olds to care a whole lot.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 1971

ISBN: 0394823370

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1971

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