Both solid introduction and exhortation, this book will thrill budding artists.

DIEGO RIVERA

HIS WORLD AND OURS

A simple picture-book biography of Diego Rivera concentrates on his artistic career and encourages children to imagine themselves painting their own world.

Tonatiuh moves quickly through Rivera's childhood and early career, concentrating on the artist's murals and their inspirations. Clear language contextualizes the artist: In Spain, "he learned the classical way to paint, which means the finished paintings looked very realistic, almost like photographs," but then in France, "he met young artists who were painting in new and exciting ways." Without belaboring the point, the author honors Rivera's politics as well as his love of his homeland. (Notably and appropriately absent is any mention of Rivera's problematic personal life.) Like his subject, Tonatiuh celebrates his ethnic heritage with brown-skinned, muscular, stylized figures. His shapes have an elemental look to them; heads are virtually round, and lines are clean and straight. Digital coloring adds both texture and whimsy. Concluding, he suggests that if Rivera "were alive today," he might "paint students at their desks… / … just as he painted factory workers in the production line." By establishing a link between modern readers and Rivera and challenging them to "make our own murals," the author makes art both aspiration and action.

Both solid introduction and exhortation, this book will thrill budding artists. (glossary, author’s note, bibliography, lists of museums and paintings) (Picture book/biography. 5-9)

Pub Date: May 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-8109-9731-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: April 18, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some...

RALPH TELLS A STORY

With a little help from his audience, a young storyteller gets over a solid case of writer’s block in this engaging debut.

Despite the (sometimes creatively spelled) examples produced by all his classmates and the teacher’s assertion that “Stories are everywhere!” Ralph can’t get past putting his name at the top of his paper. One day, lying under the desk in despair, he remembers finding an inchworm in the park. That’s all he has, though, until his classmates’ questions—“Did it feel squishy?” “Did your mom let you keep it?” “Did you name it?”—open the floodgates for a rousing yarn featuring an interloping toddler, a broad comic turn and a dramatic rescue. Hanlon illustrates the episode with childlike scenes done in transparent colors, featuring friendly-looking children with big smiles and widely spaced button eyes. The narrative text is printed in standard type, but the children’s dialogue is rendered in hand-lettered printing within speech balloons. The episode is enhanced with a page of elementary writing tips and the tantalizing titles of his many subsequent stories (“When I Ate Too Much Spaghetti,” “The Scariest Hamster,” “When the Librarian Yelled Really Loud at Me,” etc.) on the back endpapers.

An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some budding young writers off and running. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2012

ISBN: 978-0761461807

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Amazon Children's Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more