For some readers, the shortcomings won't matter. Lear's writing is still a delight, and whatever vehicle it arrives in...

THE COURTSHIP OF THE YONGHY-BONGHY BÒ

A mismatch of adaptation style to source, this cartoon version of Lear's nonsense poem about lost love on a beach fails to live up to the wildly inventive wordplay of the text.

In the story, which was first published in 1877, the Yonghy-Bonghy Bò is a man living on the Coast of Coromandel in love with the Lady Jingly Jones. He asks her to be his wife in this exquisite bit of rhythmic writing: " 'I am tired of living singly, / On this coast so wild and shingly, / I'm a-weary of my life: / If you'll come and be my wife, / Quite serene would be my life!' / Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò, / Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò."  With its made-up words, silly imagery ("Where the early pumpkins blow") and delicious repetition, the text holds up remarkably well, and its melancholy ending is unexpected and poignant. Unfortunately, it's been paired with generic artwork, the kind where cutesy animated animals seem drawn only to scuttle around and make noises when touched. It turns out to be a disappointingly literal take on Lear's material. At least the design is consistent with its outdoor theme, framing the text and illustrations with vines and leaves. The app offers a brief biography of Lear, a set of questions and discussion topics for parents reading with their kids, and easy navigation. 

For some readers, the shortcomings won't matter. Lear's writing is still a delight, and whatever vehicle it arrives in doesn't diminish the strength of it much at all. (iPad storybook app. 2-10)

Pub Date: July 15, 2012

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Corky Portwine

Review Posted Online: Aug. 20, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2012

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A larger-than-life subject is neatly captured in text and images.

THURGOOD

The life journey of the first African American to serve on the United States Supreme Court and the incidents that formed him.

Thurgood Marshall grew up in segregated Baltimore, Maryland, with a family that encouraged him to stand for justice. Despite attending poor schools, he found a way to succeed. His father instilled in him a love of the law and encouraged him to argue like a lawyer during dinner conversations. His success in college meant he could go to law school, but the University of Maryland did not accept African American students. Instead, Marshall went to historically black Howard University, where he was mentored by civil rights lawyer Charles Houston. Marshall’s first major legal case was against the law school that denied him a place, and his success brought him to the attention of the NAACP and ultimately led to his work on the groundbreaking Brown v. Board of Education, which itself led to his appointment to the Supreme Court. This lively narrative serves as an introduction to the life of one of the country’s important civil rights figures. Important facts in Marshall’s life are effectively highlighted in an almost staccato fashion. The bold watercolor-and-collage illustrations, beginning with an enticing cover, capture and enhance the strong tone set by the words.

A larger-than-life subject is neatly captured in text and images. (author’s note, photos) (Picture book/biography. 5-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6533-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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Yes, the Pigeon has to go to school, and so do readers, and this book will surely ease the way.

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THE PIGEON HAS TO GO TO SCHOOL!

From the Pigeon series

All the typical worries and excuses kids have about school are filtered through Willems’ hysterical, bus-loving Pigeon.

Told mostly in speech balloons, the bird’s monologue will have kids (and their caregivers) in stitches at Pigeon’s excuses. From already knowing everything (except whatever question readers choose to provide in response to “Go ahead—ask me a question. / Any question!”) to fearing learning too much (“My head might pop off”), Pigeon’s imagination has run wild. Readers familiar with Pigeon will recognize the muted, matte backgrounds that show off the bird’s shenanigans so well. As in previous outings, Willems varies the size of the pigeon on the page to help communicate emotion, the bird teeny small on the double-page spread that illustrates the confession that “I’m… / scared.” And Pigeon’s eight-box rant about all the perils of school (“The unknown stresses me out, dude”) is marvelously followed by the realization (complete with lightbulb thought bubble) that school is the place for students to practice, with experts, all those skills they don’t yet have. But it is the ending that is so Willems, so Pigeon, and so perfect. Pigeon’s last question is “Well, HOW am I supposed to get there, anyway!?!” Readers will readily guess both the answer and Pigeon’s reaction.

Yes, the Pigeon has to go to school, and so do readers, and this book will surely ease the way. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-368-04645-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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