Fun for fans of this type of puzzle, but there are better ways to learn about the instruments of the orchestra and the world.

READ REVIEW

THE WALKABOUT ORCHESTRA

POSTCARDS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Orchestra members have scattered all over the world in this seek-and-find book: to a French campground, an Icelandic fishing village, a soccer field in Abidjan, the Egyptian pyramids, Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and elsewhere.

The maestro and his assistant set out to find them, based on postcards sent by the musicians. Each is superimposed on the corner of a dizzyingly busy double-page spread depicting the locale. There’s also a small yellow bird in most spreads that is seeking something, giving readers extra reasons to scan the people, sights, houses, shops, signs (in different languages), sporting activities, means of transportation, local flora and fauna. The musicians (there is some diversity in the group) are shown at the beginning, and noting their clothing and instruments will aid in the search. They finally appear in a generic concert hall that’s filled with people and animals (an Egyptian camel sits complacently in the audience) from the previous pages. The illustrations are lively and filled with funny details, but, rendered in colorful saturated inks and retouched digitally, their soft contours make searching a real challenge. (An answer key will help readers whose eyes have glazed over.) More importantly, there is little to no attempt to contextualize the information, so it is at best a glancing tour.

Fun for fans of this type of puzzle, but there are better ways to learn about the instruments of the orchestra and the world. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-78603-079-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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This ambitious introduction to an important concept tries too hard to pigeonhole people, places, and things

NOUNS SAY "WHAT'S THAT?"

From the Word Adventures: Parts of Speech series

Anthropomorphized representations of a person, a place, and a thing introduce readers to nouns.

The protagonists are Person, a green, hairy, Cousin Itt–looking blob; Place, a round, blue, globe-ish being (stereotypically implied female by eyelashes and round pigtails); and Thing, a pink cloud with limbs, a porkpie hat, and red glasses. They first introduce the word “noun” and then start pointing out the nouns that fall under each of their categories. In their speech balloons, these vocabulary words are set in type that corresponds to the speaker’s color: “Each wheel is a thing noun,” says Thing, and “wheel” is set in red. Readers join the three as they visit a museum, pointing out the nouns they see along the way and introducing proper and collective nouns and ways to make nouns plural. Confusingly, though, Person labels the “bus driver” a “person noun” on one page, but two spreads later, Thing says “Abdar is a guard. Mrs. Mooney is a ticket taker. Their jobs are things that are also nouns.” Similarly, a group of athletes is a person noun—“team”—but “flock” and “pack” are things. Lowen’s digital illustrations portray a huge variety of people who display many skin and hair colors, differing abilities, and even religious and/or cultural markers (though no one is overweight). Backmatter includes a summary of noun facts, a glossary, an index (not seen), critical-thinking questions, and a list of further reading. Books on seven other parts of speech release simultaneously.

This ambitious introduction to an important concept tries too hard to pigeonhole people, places, and things . (Informational picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5158-4058-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Picture Window Books

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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Prospective younger visitors can do better than this bland mush.

MY FIRST BOOK OF NEW YORK

A scan of landmarks, neighborhoods, food, and other attractions in the Big Apple.

Perfunctory efforts to give this tour at least a pretense of geographic or thematic unity only add to its higgledy-piggledy character. Arrhenius (City, 2018, etc.) opens with a full-page view of the Brooklyn Bridge soaring over an otherwise-unidentifiable cityscape opposite a jumble of eight smaller images that are, for all that one is labeled “Brooklyn Academy of Music” and another “Coney Island,” are likewise so stylized as to look generic. From there, in the same one-topic-per-spread format, it’s on to Manhattan uptown and down for “Rockefeller Center,” “Shopping,” and other random bites. The “Harlem” spread features a fire hydrant, a mailbox, and the (actually distant) Cloisters museum, for instance, and a glance into “Queens” offers glimpses of the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, a “Greek restaurant,” a “Mexican restaurant,” and “marathon runners.” The large trim size and aesthetic mimic M. Sasek’s perennial This Is New York (1960, revised edition 2003) while adding much-needed updates with both more diverse arrays of dress and skin hues for the stylized human figures as well as the addition of sites such as the Stonewall Inn, the 9/11 memorial, and the Fearless Girl statue.

Prospective younger visitors can do better than this bland mush. (Informational picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0990-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Walker US/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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