An understandable, fun introduction to environmental issues that could spark ideas for green inventions.

WE'RE GOING GREEN!

IF NOT YOU, THEN WHO?

A boy realizes how his invention and other contributions can help the environment in this illustrated children’s book from a husband-and-wife team.

Noah Fairley, a White boy with big blue eyes, is a bit nervous about making his presentation to the Inventor’s Fair, focused this year on ways to protect the environment. He’s spent many weekends (and his own money) doing research and tinkering with his project. Being able to effect real change matters to Noah, but can his little contribution do that? As he waits his turn, he listens carefully to his classmates’ addresses. Each explains an important environmental challenge and offers a homemade device to help meet it. For example, Leila Tanaka reports that greenhouse gases created by fossil fuels trap heat, harming the climate and wildlife. Her invention is a “solar tree,” realistic but artificial, whose leaves are solar panels that collect and store clean, renewable energy. As he listens, Noah gets ideas to enhance his own invention, which is a remote-controlled device that scoops up plastic and garbage from the ocean so that it can be recycled. Noah’s invention inspires his family and others to go green, and he realizes that even small changes can make a difference. In Book 4 of their If Not You, Then Who? series, the Pridhams provide solid information about climate change, habitat loss, water conservation, and similar subjects. Noah’s idealism is appealing, and the Inventor’s Fair, where kids explain things to kids, makes the concepts approachable and stokes enthusiasm for helping the environment. Illustrating her latest children’s book, Rouaux delivers digital images that show with clarity and charm how the inventions work; most characters depicted are White, but there’s some diversity. The work includes resources for learning more information and taking action.

An understandable, fun introduction to environmental issues that could spark ideas for green inventions.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-951317-09-6

Page Count: 38

Publisher: Weeva

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2021

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While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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Charming characters, a clever plot and a quiet message tucked inside a humorous tale.

YOU ARE (NOT) SMALL

From the You Are (Not) Small series

Fuzzy, bearlike creatures of different sizes relate to one another in an amusing story that explores the relative nature of size.

A small purple creature meets a similarly shaped but much larger orange critter. The purple creature maintains that the orange creature is “big”; the orange one counters by calling the purple one “small.” This continues, devolving into a very funny shouting match, pages full of each type of creature hollering across the gutter. This is followed by a show-stopping double-page spread depicting two huge, blue legs and the single word “Boom!” in huge display type. Tiny, pink critters then float down by parachute, further complicating the size comparisons. Eventually, these brightly colored animals learn to see things in a different way. In the end, they decide they are all hungry and trudge off to eat together. The story is told effectively with just a few words per page, though younger readers might need help understanding the size and perspective concepts. Cartoon-style illustrations in ink and watercolor use simple shapes with heavy black outlines set off by lots of white space, with an oversized format and large typeface adding to the spare but polished design. While the story itself seems simple, the concepts are pertinent to several important social issues such as bullying and racism, as well as understanding point of view.

Charming characters, a clever plot and a quiet message tucked inside a humorous tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 5, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4778-4772-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

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