I SEE THE SUN IN INDIA

From the I See the Sun… series , Vol. 7

King and Inglese return for the seventh book in their geographical-literacy series for young children, this time visiting India.

Mila wakes to the cries of the peacocks at dawn and goes downstairs to the kitchen of the family home in Jaipur, which is “so big my parents rented rooms to tourists.” Sari-clad Maa packs lunch (biryani), and then blue-jumpered Mila hops into the tuk-tuk, in which her uncle drives her to school. There, she greets her friends in Hindi, but classes are conducted primarily in English. In the afternoon, she visits her gem-merchant Baba in the bazaar and then meets a friend for a Bollywood movie. After a curry dinner, she does her homework and then heads to bed. As in previous books, Inglese provides mixed-media illustrations in muted palettes, positioning her characters within and against photo-collaged scenes of bustling streets, peaceful courtyards, and such sights as the Raj Mandir movie theater and the massive Hawa Mahal palace (rendered “Hawa Maha” in the text). Though there is no express mention of it in the narration, Mila’s family hints at India’s ethnic tapestry, with skin tones that range from light to dark. A substantial author’s note provides some historical context as well as touching on some of India’s ethnic and economic complexities. Mila’s narration appears in Hindi above English text on every page. Though it’s necessarily oversimplified, it’s still a sweet introduction to one part of modern India. (Picture book. 5-8)

 

Pub Date: June 20, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-935874-21-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Satya House

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2014

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This story covers the few days preceding the much-anticipated Midnight Zombie Walk, when Stink and company will take to the...

STINK AND THE MIDNIGHT ZOMBIE WALK

From the Stink series

An all-zombie-all-the-time zombiefest, featuring a bunch of grade-school kids, including protagonist Stink and his happy comrades.

This story covers the few days preceding the much-anticipated Midnight Zombie Walk, when Stink and company will take to the streets in the time-honored stiff-armed, stiff-legged fashion. McDonald signals her intent on page one: “Stink and Webster were playing Attack of the Knitting Needle Zombies when Fred Zombie’s eye fell off and rolled across the floor.” The farce is as broad as the Atlantic, with enough spookiness just below the surface to provide the all-important shivers. Accompanied by Reynolds’ drawings—dozens of scene-setting gems with good, creepy living dead—McDonald shapes chapters around zombie motifs: making zombie costumes, eating zombie fare at school, reading zombie books each other to reach the one-million-minutes-of-reading challenge. When the zombie walk happens, it delivers solid zombie awfulness. McDonald’s feel-good tone is deeply encouraging for readers to get up and do this for themselves because it looks like so much darned fun, while the sub-message—that reading grows “strong hearts and minds,” as well as teeth and bones—is enough of a vital interest to the story line to be taken at face value.

Pub Date: March 13, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7636-5692-8

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2012

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Very young gardeners will need more information, but for certain picky eaters, the suggested strategy just might work.

SYLVIA'S SPINACH

A young spinach hater becomes a spinach lover after she has to grow her own in a class garden.

Unable to trade away the seed packet she gets from her teacher for tomatoes, cukes or anything else more palatable, Sylvia reluctantly plants and nurtures a pot of the despised veggie then transplants it outside in early spring. By the end of school, only the plot’s lettuce, radishes and spinach are actually ready to eat (talk about a badly designed class project!)—and Sylvia, once she nerves herself to take a nibble, discovers that the stuff is “not bad.” She brings home an armful and enjoys it from then on in every dish: “And that was the summer Sylvia Spivens said yes to spinach.” Raff uses unlined brushwork to give her simple cartoon illustrations a pleasantly freehand, airy look, and though Pryor skips over the (literally, for spinach) gritty details in both the story and an afterword, she does cover gardening basics in a simple and encouraging way.

Very young gardeners will need more information, but for certain picky eaters, the suggested strategy just might work. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-9836615-1-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Readers to Eaters

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2012

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