This carefully thought-out explanation may surprise but should be widely appreciated.

READ REVIEW

SEX IS A FUNNY WORD

A BOOK ABOUT BODIES, FEELINGS, AND YOU

Moving up in target audience from their explanation of reproduction, What Makes a Baby (2013), Silverberg and Smyth explore various meanings for the word “sex.”

In their own ways, Zai, Cooper, Mimi, and Omar respond to information in chapters about bodies, “Boys, Girls, All of Us,” touch,  language, and “Crushes, Love, and Relationships.” With skin tones in unlikely shades (blue! purple! green!) and wildly diverse crowd scenes, chances are good that any reader can identify with someone in these pages. Refreshingly, these crowds are diverse in a way that does not appear assembled by checklist. Lively design, bright, clashing colors, cartoon-style illustrations, comic strips, and plenty of humor support the informal, inclusive approach. Each chapter ends with questions to think and talk about. The author’s respect for different approaches to the subject comes through. No actual sexual activities are described except for masturbation, in the chapter that also deals with “secret touches.” The gender chapter tells how gender is assigned but notes “there are more than two kinds of bodies.” The character Zai doesn’t identify as either boy or girl. Illustrations show body parts of kids and grown-ups (nipples, breasts, bottoms, and parts biologically specific to boys or girls) demonstrating wide variety. Puberty will be addressed in a third title.

This carefully thought-out explanation may surprise but should be widely appreciated. (glossary) (Nonfiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: May 5, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60980-606-4

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Triangle Square Books for Young Readers

Review Posted Online: April 1, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2015

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While this book and its companion appear to be meant for the lower elementary grades, these British imports will require too...

REFUGEES AND MIGRANTS

From the Children in Our World series

With this series entry, Roberts attempts to help readers understand that their peers in many parts of the world are suffering and becoming refugees because of “wars, natural disasters, and acts of terrorism.”

The book also speaks about migrants as people who “leave for a happier, healthier life, to join family members overseas, or because they don’t have enough money and need a job.” This effort aims to educate child readers, reassuring them that “most people have a safe and comfortable home to live in” and while “it can be upsetting to think about what life is like for refugees and migrants,” kids can do something to help. Some practical suggestions are provided and websites included for several aid organizations. Companion title Poverty and Hunger, by Louise Spilsbury and also illustrated by Kai, follows the same format, presenting a double-page spread with usually one to three short paragraphs on a topic. A yellow catlike animal with a black-and-white striped tail is found in every picture in both books and seems an odd unifying feature. Mixed-media illustrations in muted colors feature stylized children and adults against handsomely textured areas; they exude an empty sense of unreality in spite of racial diversity and varied landscapes. By trying too hard to make comparisons accessible, Roberts ends up trivializing some concepts. Speaking about camping and refugee camps in the same sentence is very misleading.

While this book and its companion appear to be meant for the lower elementary grades, these British imports will require too much adult intervention to be very useful. (bibliography, websites, glossary, index) (Informational picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4380-5020-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Barron's

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

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A gesture toward perseverance that feels more like a bullet-point pamphlet than a story.

TRAILBLAZER

LILY PARR THE UNSTOPPABLE STAR OF WOMEN'S SOCCER

Not even a ban on women’s soccer could stop Lily Parr from playing.

Born in England in 1905, Lily Parr, a white woman, learned how to play growing up with her brothers and is credited with being one of the first stars of women’s soccer. A left winger with the Dick, Kerr Ladies team, Parr had the strongest kick in the country, helping to power her team in competition against men’s teams—whom they often beat. Throughout World War I, women’s teams played against one another and sent their profits to aid soldiers. After the war, in 1921, the Football Association (this British import assumes readers’ familiarity with the organization) banned women from playing on their fields, a ruling that would stay in place until 1971. Despite these restrictions, Parr played soccer for 31 years, and in 2019, the National Football Museum in England erected a statue in her honor. Dale’s book provides an initial glimpse into Parr’s life yet leaves many holes. Readers who want to know more about what drove her or her life off the field will be left wondering. Coroa’s cartoonlike illustrations are vibrant and match Dale’s pacing. Facts about soccer and Parr cover the endpapers, respectively, and basic facts are interspersed throughout the illustrations as well. An author’s note ends the book, but no backmatter or sources are included.

A gesture toward perseverance that feels more like a bullet-point pamphlet than a story. (timeline) (Picture book/biography. 7-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-84886-645-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Maverick Publishing

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2020

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