Rich illustrations, a familiar fairy-tale structure, and an upbeat message make this story a visually attractive,...

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THE GLASSMAKER'S DAUGHTER

A Venetian glassmaker’s daughter resists attempts to cheer her up.

Daniela, the fair-skinned daughter of a prominent glassmaker in 16th-century Venice, is melancholy. Her concerned father offers the reward of a glass palace to the first person who can make Daniela smile. Many try, and here the narrative amiably bounces along: “Glove makers, tart bakers, trumpet players, dragon slayers” try their best, but Daniela remains glum. Enter Angelo, a fair-skinned young glassmaker who fashions a looking glass—something Daniela has never before encountered. He presents it to her, and as she looks into it, she sees a frowning face. She smiles, and the mirror smiles, then she laughs and the mirror laughs. Soon all of Venice is laughing along with Daniela’s laugh. Hofmeyr’s narrative conforms to the familiar, rescue-the-princess fairy-tale theme, but the addition of the looking glass lends it originality, and its ultimate message, that happiness lies within, is empowering if overt. An introductory note conveys information about historic Venetian glassmaking and the popularity of wearing decorative masks in Venice—facts that add considerable interest. Ray’s luxuriant-looking, well-designed illustrations in gouache, watercolor, and ink evoke a lush, multiracial Venice.

Rich illustrations, a familiar fairy-tale structure, and an upbeat message make this story a visually attractive, comfortable read. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-84780-676-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

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This ambitious introduction to an important concept tries too hard to pigeonhole people, places, and things

NOUNS SAY "WHAT'S THAT?"

From the Word Adventures: Parts of Speech series

Anthropomorphized representations of a person, a place, and a thing introduce readers to nouns.

The protagonists are Person, a green, hairy, Cousin Itt–looking blob; Place, a round, blue, globe-ish being (stereotypically implied female by eyelashes and round pigtails); and Thing, a pink cloud with limbs, a porkpie hat, and red glasses. They first introduce the word “noun” and then start pointing out the nouns that fall under each of their categories. In their speech balloons, these vocabulary words are set in type that corresponds to the speaker’s color: “Each wheel is a thing noun,” says Thing, and “wheel” is set in red. Readers join the three as they visit a museum, pointing out the nouns they see along the way and introducing proper and collective nouns and ways to make nouns plural. Confusingly, though, Person labels the “bus driver” a “person noun” on one page, but two spreads later, Thing says “Abdar is a guard. Mrs. Mooney is a ticket taker. Their jobs are things that are also nouns.” Similarly, a group of athletes is a person noun—“team”—but “flock” and “pack” are things. Lowen’s digital illustrations portray a huge variety of people who display many skin and hair colors, differing abilities, and even religious and/or cultural markers (though no one is overweight). Backmatter includes a summary of noun facts, a glossary, an index (not seen), critical-thinking questions, and a list of further reading. Books on seven other parts of speech release simultaneously.

This ambitious introduction to an important concept tries too hard to pigeonhole people, places, and things . (Informational picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5158-4058-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Picture Window Books

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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For the dedicated nonfiction fan, this picture dictionary introduces media that are better experienced than described.

LITTLE LEONARDO'S FASCINATING WORLD OF THE ARTS

From the Little Leonardo's Fascinating World series

This entry in a series named for Leonardo da Vinci, an “original Renaissance man,” describes the many forms and functions of art in today’s world.

This colorful book shows very young children what art is and what different kinds of artists do. The author begins by listing several kinds of art as they appear in our lives, then describes historical art forms, such as cave painting and pottery design. Next, entire pages and spreads feature particular forms of art, artists, and materials, including sculpture, writing, drama, graphic design, architecture, and music. The role of computers in the creation of art today is mentioned, and readers are encouraged to imagine themselves as artists. The cartoon-style pictures show cheerful, ethnically diverse children in mainstream American settings creating art that often mirrors well-known pieces and styles of the Western tradition. A jazz band is included on the music page. An author’s note at the end of the book introduces six great artists of the past; three of these are women, but five of the six are white. While children throughout the book are representative of America’s diversity, readers will have to look elsewhere for inclusion of diverse contributions to the world of art. Volumes on math and science are similarly formulated but wordier. A page on anthropology in the science volume assumes a cultural perspective that all readers may not share.

For the dedicated nonfiction fan, this picture dictionary introduces media that are better experienced than described. (glossary, author’s note) (Nonfiction. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4236-4873-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Gibbs Smith

Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2018

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