Miller presents all things toothy in this fascinating and funny introduction to teeth. Each spread covers a separate topic, beginning with some of the things we would find it hard to do without having teeth and some of the amazing teeth found in the animal kingdom. A tooth timeline helps kids put their development in perspective, while diagrams of a mouth and a cross section of a tooth give them the vocabulary. And what tooth book would be complete without sections on tooth decay, proper brushing techniques and eating habits, and what a visit to the dentist is like. Rounding things out are lost-tooth traditions from other parts of the world, a dental first-aid section, and some dos and don’ts. Miller livens up what could be a very dry topic with some unique factoids and humorous asides, including a look at George Washington’s false teeth, what used to be used to make toothbrushes (yuck), and some old ingredients of toothpaste (super yuck). Computer illustrations perfectly match the tone of the text—a mix of fact and humor that will capture kids’ attention and spark learning. This is one that kids can really sink their teeth into. (Nonfiction. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2092-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2008

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A warm and necessary message of empowerment for black children, helping them see that raising their hands is a celebration...


This picture book offers a different take on a black body raising “hands up.”

Vibrant, colorfully textured illustrations show different displays of black children raising hands, such as playing peekaboo, getting dressed, and other mundane activities. The book follows one little girl as she puts her hands up to do chores, to reach for books on a high shelf at the library, and even to assume the fifth position in ballet class. She holds up her bun as her grandmother does her hair, throws her arms up “in praise and worship,” and hoists a trophy after a victorious basketball game. Riding her bike with her hands up results in a fall, but there is a caring adult there to pick her back up. McDaniel sends a positive and affirming message that normalizes for black children the gesture of raising their hands, redeeming it from the very negative, haunting images of black people raising their hands while being confronted by police. The book closes with a bold illustration of children of all colors raising their hands and holding signs such as “Water = Life,” “Spread Love,” and “Black Lives Matter.” Evans employs a pastel palette that amplifies McDaniel’s sunny message. Outlines are done in purple, blue, brown—there are no literally black marks in this book.

A warm and necessary message of empowerment for black children, helping them see that raising their hands is a celebration of their humanity. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-55231-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

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Despite its visual flaws, this book will help a small, deserving readership.


A young child learns to reach for happiness.

The young narrator, a black child with cornrows and afro puffs, thinks of many acquisitions and happenings that would bring happiness. The glum kid will be happy after getting “a puppy, / a unicorn, / an ice-cream sundae.” Or when “everyone adores me.” But each time, the narrator adds, “Or, I can be happy right now.” As the difficulties standing in the way of happiness grow harder to bear—sickness, sadness, and sorrows—the narrator more actively counteracts them. The kid can “snuggle down for a sleepy snooze” or “breathe right now / … / Feel my body relax… // …Know that happy will find me again soon.” The final spread shows the child balancing on a branch, reaching toward a cat, knowing that “I’ll be happy when / I’m hopeful, / cheerful, / helpful, / thankful. / Reaching for happy / until I can grab it.” While most children (and adults) can relate to negative thought patterns, this book may be most helpful for those who experience mild forms of anxiety and depression, the text incorporating cognitive, physiological, and action-based tools to improve mood and combat negativity. The illustrations convey only two emotions—sad and happy—and an embodied “worry monkey” (whose fur is unfortunately reminiscent of the narrator’s afro puffs) scampers about on two spreads.

Despite its visual flaws, this book will help a small, deserving readership. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 29, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68364-352-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sounds True

Review Posted Online: Aug. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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