Welcome back, Otto. Glad you’re here to stay

GO, OTTO, GO!

From the Adventures of Otto series

Almost a decade and a half after crash-landing on Earth in See Otto (2002), Milgrim’s lovable robot is back and thinking about returning home.

“See Otto.” Readers see Otto looking at a family portrait of two adult robots and one child robot. “See Otto look at his home” reveals the robot peering through a telescope. An expansive, wordless double-page spread following shows Otto looking up at the stars, the family picture clamped in one “hand,” before getting to “work, work, work” in subsequent spreads. “No, Otto, no!” readers may well protest as they watch the robot hammering and welding scrap metal into a booster-rocket backpack, and it’s clear that’s what his animal pals are thinking as they bid him adieu. But although Otto goes “up, up, up,” with an “uh-oh,” Otto goes “down, down, down”—then left and right, and then “here” (through a desert) and “there” (past some penguins), ultimately only to get “nowhere.” As in the earlier installments in the Adventures of Otto, Milgrim combines very few words arranged in easy-to-decode patterns with a perfect balance of laugh-out-loud slapstick and honest emotion—here, real pathos—for a rich, complete story readers just taking baby steps toward literacy can manage. When Otto looks up from the wreckage to see his jubilant friends and realizes he’s “looking at his home” and his found family, readers will feel the complexity of his emotions.

Welcome back, Otto. Glad you’re here to stay . (Early reader. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 24, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-6724-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Simon Spotlight

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2016

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Teachers will certainly find themselves wishing for their own arsenal of supplies to help them with their grading, and...

THE LITTLE RED PEN

Obviously inspired by "The Little Red Hen," this goes beyond the foundation tale's basic moral about work ethic to explore problem solving, teamwork and doing one’s best.

Nighttime at school brings the Little Red Pen out of the drawer to correct papers, usually aided by other common school supplies. But not this time. Too afraid of being broken, worn out, dull, lost or, worst of all, put in the “Pit of No Return” (aka trash), they hide in the drawer despite the Little Red Pen’s insistence that the world will end if the papers do not get corrected. But even with her drive she cannot do it all herself—her efforts send her to the Pit. It takes the ingenuity and cooperation of every desk supply to accomplish her rescue and to get all the papers graded, thereby saving the world. The authors work in lots of clever wordplay that will appeal to adult readers, as will the spicy character of Chincheta, the Mexican pushpin. Stevens’ delightfully expressive desk supplies were created with paint, ink and plenty of real school supplies. Without a doubt, she has captured their true personalities: the buck-toothed stapler, bespectacled scissors and rather empty-headed eraser.

Teachers will certainly find themselves wishing for their own arsenal of supplies to help them with their grading, and students may take a second glance at that innocuous-looking red pen on the teacher’s desk. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 18, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-15-206432-7

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: April 6, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2011

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This book offers a fine mirror for brown boys who aspire to write, but it’s also a great pro-literacy story for all children...

A SQUIGGLY STORY

A positive tale of how a story can emerge organically from an inkling of an idea to an imaginative literary excursion—even at the hands of preliterate kids.

This story’s young, brown-skinned male protagonist admires his big sister, who loves to read and write “BIG words and (little) words, page after page.” But with just his “swirl after swirl. Squiggle after squiggle,” he thinks he can’t write a story. Like any good writing coach, his sister tells him: “Write what you KNOW.” Using letters and squiggles, he writes about a visit to the ocean, where he and his sister play soccer, see waves, and encounter a shark. His story looks like this: “I o U …. VvVVvv ^.” During show and tell at school, he shares his draft and gets feedback, which helps him finish the story. Lowery’s line drawings and use of frames and speech bubbles common in comics make this a lively story that keeps readers guessing. He paints the protagonist’s story in progress in pale green, bringing the child’s imagination to life. The story’s ending suggests a sequel—or several—that will perhaps illustrate the protagonist’s growth as both reader and writer.

This book offers a fine mirror for brown boys who aspire to write, but it’s also a great pro-literacy story for all children about brown kids who hold reading and writing in high regard. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-77138-016-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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