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Appealing information in a delightfully sunny package.

In 20 expertly crafted poems, Florian illuminates the origins, types, and effects of weather.

Beginning with scene-setters about weather and our atmosphere and ending with a sober look at climate change, the veteran poet-illustrator riffs, often gleefully, on elements from rain and hail to frost and drought. He frequently uses personification, alliteration, and repetition, encapsulating solid information in economical rhymes and deft wordplay. “Cloud” narrates its own delight in “wrecking” the reader’s fun: “I rain cascades / on your parades. /…To nip your nap / I thunderclap.” Maintaining that “fog is just / a cloud that’s lost,” Florian describes how “it drifted down, / close to the ground, / then napped beside a hill. / And gave the day / ten shades of gray, / each un-fog-gettable.” Poems often take concrete forms, spiraling in “Hurricane” and assuming the shape of a funnel for “Tornado.” The text appears on pages of saturated color, opposite playful illustrations executed in gouache, colored pencil, and rubber stamps on primed paper bags. Humans vary in skin tone and cavort (and contort) in service of Florian’s visual jokes. For “Hurricane,” an umbrella-wielding person’s yellow slicker spirals round and round, echoing that poem’s shape. A “never ever wrong” meteorologist stands before a weather map, staring in shock at the barrage of hailstones despoiling a sunny forecast. In an image accompanying the last poem, three people—wearing caps that warn against damaging greenhouse pollutants—hold up our sea-blue planet.

Appealing information in a delightfully sunny package. (glossary, weather websites, selected sources and further reading) (Picture book/poetry. 5-9)

Pub Date: May 28, 2024

ISBN: 9781665937726

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2024

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From the Questioneers series , Vol. 2

Adventure, humor, and smart, likable characters make for a winning chapter book.

Ada Twist’s incessant stream of questions leads to answers that help solve a neighborhood crisis.

Ada conducts experiments at home to answer questions such as, why does Mom’s coffee smell stronger than Dad’s coffee? Each answer leads to another question, another hypothesis, and another experiment, which is how she goes from collecting data on backyard birds for a citizen-science project to helping Rosie Revere figure out how to get her uncle Ned down from the sky, where his helium-filled “perilous pants” are keeping him afloat. The Questioneers—Rosie the engineer, Iggy Peck the architect, and Ada the scientist—work together, asking questions like scientists. Armed with knowledge (of molecules and air pressure, force and temperature) but more importantly, with curiosity, Ada works out a solution. Ada is a recognizable, three-dimensional girl in this delightfully silly chapter book: tirelessly curious and determined yet easily excited and still learning to express herself. If science concepts aren’t completely clear in this romp, relationships and emotions certainly are. In playful full- and half-page illustrations that break up the text, Ada is black with Afro-textured hair; Rosie and Iggy are white. A closing section on citizen science may inspire readers to get involved in science too; on the other hand, the “Ode to a Gas!” may just puzzle them. Other backmatter topics include the importance of bird study and the threat palm-oil use poses to rainforests.

Adventure, humor, and smart, likable characters make for a winning chapter book. (Fiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: April 16, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3422-9

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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Though told by two outsiders to the culture, this timely and well-crafted story will educate readers on the preciousness of...

An international story tackles a serious global issue with Reynolds’ characteristic visual whimsy.

Gie Gie—aka Princess Gie Gie—lives with her parents in Burkina Faso. In her kingdom under “the African sky, so wild and so close,” she can tame wild dogs with her song and make grass sway, but despite grand attempts, she can neither bring the water closer to home nor make it clean. French words such as “maintenant!” (now!) and “maman” (mother) and local color like the karite tree and shea nuts place the story in a French-speaking African country. Every morning, Gie Gie and her mother perch rings of cloth and large clay pots on their heads and walk miles to the nearest well to fetch murky, brown water. The story is inspired by model Georgie Badiel, who founded the Georgie Badiel Foundation to make clean water accessible to West Africans. The details in Reynolds’ expressive illustrations highlight the beauty of the West African landscape and of Princess Gie Gie, with her cornrowed and beaded hair, but will also help readers understand that everyone needs clean water—from the children of Burkina Faso to the children of Flint, Michigan.

Though told by two outsiders to the culture, this timely and well-crafted story will educate readers on the preciousness of potable water. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-399-17258-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 17, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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