Innovative and intellectually stimulating.

READ REVIEW

HOW MANY?

A concept book that gives readers the choice of what to count.

Danielson’s analytical approach to the counting book begins with a photograph of shoes in a box and some guided options of what to count, such as the number of shoes (2) or the number of pairs (1). He consistently includes open questions to encourage independent, creative thinking. Following the example of the shoes, the phrase “How many?” appears on the left with a photograph on the right depicting various foods as they are prepared for cooking, usually three spreads per type of foodstuff. The mostly overhead angle and neat, intentional layout of the photographs makes for clear expectations when decoding the images. Each foodstuff starts simple (a bowl of grapefruits), then changes the items’ state somehow (halved grapefruits on a cutting board with new tools nearby), then ends on a more-complex image (the fruit juiced in a measuring cup with glasses and more whole fruit in the background). The penultimate set of photos shows a kitchen counter with assorted items from previous pages, serving as a culmination of sorts to the visual narrative. The ending pages encourage rereads and “new questions to wonder about,” such as the fairly abstract, “What numbers are missing?” After an initial read with a caregiver, young readers can easily go back and contemplate the pages independently to make new discoveries.

Innovative and intellectually stimulating. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-58089-943-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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Engaging, well-chosen images and a clear, coherent text illuminate the importance of empathy for the world’s inhabitants.

A WORLD TOGETHER

Large color photographs (occasionally composed of montages) and accessible, simple text highlight global similarities and differences, always focusing on our universal connections.

While child readers may not recognize Manzano, the Puerto Rican actress who played Maria on Sesame Street, adults will recognize her as a trusted diverse voice. In her endnote, she explains her desire to “encourage lively conversations about shared experiences.” Starting out with the familiar, home and community, the text begins with “How many WONDERFUL PEOPLE do you know?” Then it moves out to the world: “Did you know there are about 8 BILLION PEOPLE on the planet?” The photo essay features the usual concrete similarities and differences found in many books of this type, such as housing (a Mongolian yurt opposite a Hong Kong apartment building overlooking a basketball court), food (dumplings, pizza, cotton candy, a churro, etc.), and school. Manzano also makes sure to point out likenesses in emotions, as shown in a montage of photos from countries including China, Spain, Kashmir (Pakistan/India), and the United States. At the end, a world map and thumbnail images show the locations of all photos, revealing a preponderance of examples from the U.S. and a slight underrepresentation for Africa and South America.

Engaging, well-chosen images and a clear, coherent text illuminate the importance of empathy for the world’s inhabitants. (Informational picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4263-3738-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: National Geographic Kids

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

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Only gnashnabs would cavil at this eximious display of lexicographical largesse.

BIGGER WORDS FOR LITTLE GENIUSES

More labial lollipops for logomanes and sesquipedalian proto-savants.

The creators of Big Words for Little Geniuses (2017) and Cuddly Critters for Little Geniuses (2018) follow up with another ABC of extravagant expressions. It begins with “ailurophile” (“How furry sweet!” Puns, yet), ends with “zoanthropy,” and in between highlights “bioluminescent,” growls at a grouchy “gnashnab,” and collects a “knickknackatory” of like locutions. A list of 14 additional words is appended in a second, partial alphabet. Each entry comes with a phonetic version, a one- or two-sentence verbal definition, and, from Pan, a visual one with a big letter and very simple, broadly brushed figures. Lending an ear to aural pleasures, the authors borrow from German to include “fünfundfünfzig” in the main list and add a separate list of a dozen more words at the end likewise deemed sheer fun to say. Will any of these rare, generally polysyllabic leviathans find their way into idiolects or casual conversations? Unlikely, alas—but sounding them out and realizing that even the silliest have at least putative meanings sheds liminal light on language’s glittering word hoards.

Only gnashnabs would cavil at this eximious display of lexicographical largesse. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-316-53445-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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