The story itself has some cracks, but it has both a good moral lesson and likely appeal for young kids

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FARMER FALGU GOES TO THE MARKET

When life breaks your eggs, make omelets!

The story’s titular protagonist is an adult, brown-skinned Indian farmer who is taking his eggs and produce to the market on an ox cart but has to improvise when the ride turns bumpy. Unexpected potholes, heedless ducks, and speeding trucks cause Farmer Falgu’s produce to topple and the eggs to crack. Should he go back home, or can he find a way to turn things around? While the story has a valuable lesson, it seems contrived in many respects. Despite the cracks, Farmer Falgu’s eggs survive long enough for him to make a mass of crowd-pleasing omelets, and a stove magically appears when he needs one. Also, one wonders how many farmers in present-day Rajasthan travel in an ox cart to sell eggs, but perhaps some do. Similar to series opener Farmer Falgu Goes on a Trip (2016), the concise onomatopoeic sounds are in bigger and color-coded type, which provides additional emphasis and is perfect for read-alouds. The bold, thick-outlined illustrations are engaging, but they provide only a narrow reflection of rural India.

The story itself has some cracks, but it has both a good moral lesson and likely appeal for young kids . (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 3, 2018

ISBN: 978-8-181-903129

Page Count: 30

Publisher: Karadi Tales

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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RAIN SCHOOL

It takes a village to make a school. In Chad, big brothers and sisters lead the way for younger children on the first day of school. Little Thomas is full of questions. When he and the other children arrive, there are no classrooms and no desks. But the teacher's there, holding a trowel. "We will build our school," she declares. Everyone sets to work, making mud bricks that dry in the sun and a roof out of grass and saplings. Thomas loves his lessons; every day he learns something new. At the end of the school year, the minds of the students "are fat with knowledge." And just in time: The rainy season arrives and makes short work of the schoolhouse. Come September, they'll start all over. Rumford's illustrations make great use of color, dark brown skin and bright shirts, shorts and dresses against golden backgrounds, the hues applied in smudgy layers that infuse each scene with warmth—until the gray rains arrive. It's a nifty social-studies lesson tucked into a warm tale of community. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-547-24307-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 1, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

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BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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