Action oriented with a sci-fi feel, this will have robot-obsessed readers clamoring for more

NANOBOTS

A young, white inventor creates a team of microscopic robots, each with its own power, who discover that together they can solve problems, big or small.

Meet the NanoBots, tiny machines that may just change the world. Gall (Dinotrux, 2009, etc.) once again pinpoints a high-interest market (robots + superheroes) as the basis for this appealing and sellable work. From ChewBots that can clean up oil spills to MediBots that are both doctor and prescription, these robots can do it all. But when they encounter a mega-robot, doubt creeps in until teamwork saves the day and confidence is restored. Visually based on the style of a woodblock print or etching with hatching to describe surface direction, the digital artwork is reminiscent of early Chris Van Allsburg, with illustrations able to exist as their own ministories. Ending on a high note, with the promise of future missions and adventures to come, the possibility of a sequel or another series is palpable. An informational page on nanorobotics may even inspire some readers to dream of future careers and discoveries in the field.

Action oriented with a sci-fi feel, this will have robot-obsessed readers clamoring for more . (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 23, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-316-37552-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2016

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A quiet story of sharing with no strings attached.

EXTRA YARN

A little girl in a town of white snow and soot-blackened chimneys opens a small box and discovers a never-ending gift of colorful yarn.

Annabelle knits herself a sweater, and with the leftover yarn, she knits one for her dog, and with the yarn left over from that, she knits one for a neighbor and for her classmates and for her teacher and for her family and for the birdhouse and for the buildings in town. All and everything are warm, cozy and colorful until a clotheshorse of an archduke arrives. Annabelle refuses his monetary offers, whereupon the box is stolen. The greedy archduke gets his just deserts when he opens the box to find it empty. It wends its way back to Annabelle, who ends up happily sitting in a knit-covered tree. Klassen, who worked on the film Coraline, uses inks, gouache and colorized scans of a sweater to create a stylized, linear design of dark geometric shapes against a white background. The stitches of the sweaters add a subdued rainbow. Barnett entertained middle-grade readers with his Brixton Brothers detective series. Here, he maintains a folkloric narrative that results in a traditional story arc complete with repetition, drama and a satisfying conclusion.

A quiet story of sharing with no strings attached. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-195338-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2011

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Whimsy, intelligence, and a subtle narrative thread make this rise to the top of a growing list of self-love titles.

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YOU MATTER

Employing a cast of diverse children reminiscent of that depicted in Another (2019), Robinson shows that every living entity has value.

After opening endpapers that depict an aerial view of a busy playground, the perspective shifts to a black child, ponytails tied with beaded elastics, peering into a microscope. So begins an exercise in perspective. From those bits of green life under the lens readers move to “Those who swim with the tide / and those who don’t.” They observe a “pest”—a mosquito biting a dinosaur, a “really gassy” planet, and a dog whose walker—a child in a pink hijab—has lost hold of the leash. Periodically, the examples are validated with the titular refrain. Textured paint strokes and collage elements contrast with uncluttered backgrounds that move from white to black to white. The black pages in the middle portion foreground scenes in space, including a black astronaut viewing Earth; the astronaut is holding an image of another black youngster who appears on the next spread flying a toy rocket and looking lonely. There are many such visual connections, creating emotional interest and invitations for conversation. The story’s conclusion spins full circle, repeating opening sentences with new scenarios. From the microscopic to the cosmic, word and image illuminate the message without a whiff of didacticism.

Whimsy, intelligence, and a subtle narrative thread make this rise to the top of a growing list of self-love titles. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-2169-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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