An affecting story of loss rooted in one specific tragedy.

The Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 killed 168 people, “but the awfulness of that moment is not the end of the story.”

A man parks a truck in front of a big building and walks away. The bomb explodes. And “all of a sudden—and forever—so much was ruined.” Barton tells exactly what happened and how it affected so many people. Xu’s illustrations, created with ink and Photoshop, are dark and eerie, capturing the mood of loss. Grief knows no boundaries, and White and brown-skinned people walk through misty landscapes, as if the dust from the bombing is still in the air. But an American elm near the blast survives, and its roots entwine scenes from page to page, as if wrapping those still living in its embrace. The tree itself is featured on the cover, its branches outstretched, welcoming all who gather. This Survivor Tree is a generous one, offering seeds for remembrance, a place for gathering, even a spot for a wedding. A touching final double-page spread represents the many people—Black and White, young and old, those who stand and those who use wheelchairs—who assemble there. They hold hands, their shadows reflected as if in a misty gray-blue pool, the Survivor Tree’s roots swirling underneath. And the final words: “We will remember.”

An affecting story of loss rooted in one specific tragedy. (author’s note, illustrator’s note, interview subjects, bibliography) (Informational picture book. 7-11)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5415-2669-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Carolrhoda

Review Posted Online: Oct. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019



Despite some bright spots, the lapses in information limit this book’s effectiveness.

Celebrations the world over involve parades, foods, traditional clothing, masks, songs, and games.

Information on 14 festivals, country maps, small photos, sidebars with holiday traditions (in the appropriate language, with pronunciations), and instructions for a craft or a recipe make up the jam-packed left-hand page of each spread. Colorful, detailed cartoon illustrations appear opposite. There are certainly interesting facts and activities, but careless errors (including a typo to be corrected in the second printing) and a decided slant toward Western Europe (five countries) diminish the volume’s value. Opening with a monthly timeline, it offers a basic explanation of the lunar calendar, but this is not integrated into the overall schematic. This spread also includes a note about adult help for crafting and cooking. Many of the holidays are commonly celebrated in many places, and the author’s failure to point out that Eid al-Fitr, for instance, is celebrated around the globe and not just in Egypt is a sad, missed opportunity. A few festivals are not often presented in books of this ilk, such as Bhutan’s Dangpai Losar (New Year) and Laternenfest, held on St. Martin’s Day in Germany. The last spread brings children from the different countries together and asks readers to create their own celebrations. Sadly, given the glancing notice necessitated by the format, there are no further resources included.

Despite some bright spots, the lapses in information limit this book’s effectiveness. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: March 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4549-3213-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019


From the Earth's Incredible Places series

A fact-filled exploration of one of the country’s most important natural wonders.

Come explore the history and attractions of the world’s first national park.

Yellowstone National Park, the enormous Rocky Mountain area of wilderness that covers nearly 3,500 square miles, is examined from a variety of angles in this deeply informative book. Starting by describing the scale of a park that sits in three U.S. states (Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho), this installment in the Earth’s Incredible Places series goes on to chart the history of the park; its natural attractions, such as a supervolcano, geysers, and waterfalls; and the many types of animals living there. While it was established in 1872 as a national park, the history of the land goes back much further, and the book describes in detail the many Indigenous tribes that visited the land before and after the arrival of European explorers. Ard also discusses what the park is like today with its more than 800 employees and many sights and activities for modern visitors. Illustrations throughout evoke the park’s natural beauty as well as the liveliness of its inhabitants and visitors, making it a place any reader will likely want to someday visit. People depicted are racially diverse.

A fact-filled exploration of one of the country’s most important natural wonders. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 7-11)

Pub Date: April 4, 2023

ISBN: 9781838748562

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Flying Eye Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 7, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2023

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