Fans of the Free To Be You And Me style of children’s literature will appreciate the inspiring message about developing...

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YOUR INSIDE SHAPE

A motivational picture book by author Sarno-Doyle designed to teach kids about exploring their own abilities and hobbies.

Using the metaphor of an “inside shape” for the inner being, Sarno-Doyle aims to teach kids to weigh inner values over outer appearances. Written for very young children, the book is bright and full of lively images. In 30-some pages, the author explains the difference between “outside shape” (hair, clothes, ethnicity, etc.) and “inside shape,” the inner interests that children need to develop to become full-fledged, happy individuals. Many of the possible interests here are professional and educational—science, animal welfare, books, mathematics. The book also offers inspiration for kids to develop extracurricular activities, including sports and fishing. There are several open-ended prompts at the beginning of the book to get readers started: “I like to...” or “I don’t like to....” These questions are designed to help children explore their strengths and the skills they want to learn. Interestingly, the author doesn’t linger on the influence of “outside shapes,” such as gender or ethnicity, in shaping individual children’s personal identities, even in a positive manner (like Karen Katz’s The Colors of Us) that could help kids’ self-esteem if they feel externally judged or different from their classmates. The book’s abbreviated length, too, means that the range of topics is narrow. Charmingly illustrated by Jennings with old-fashioned images of children at play, the text will appeal to parents looking for inspiring books for their young children.

Fans of the Free To Be You And Me style of children’s literature will appreciate the inspiring message about developing children’s passions.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0982446102

Page Count: 32

Publisher: SDP Publishing

Review Posted Online: Jan. 14, 2013

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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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CINDERELLA

This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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