A carefully formatted book with supportive features baked in brings new energy to the task of learning to read.

READ REVIEW

A DUCK AND A SOCK

From the Meg and Greg series

High-interest, low-reading-level stories present a fun way to reinforce phonics skills for readers who need a boost.

Best friends Meg and Greg face tricky situations and daring adventures in several entertaining tales. Dilemmas range from replacing a sibling’s missing fish to helping ranch animals escape from a wildfire; they will hold readers’ interest as they create opportunities to bolster phonics skills. Each of the four segments contains episodic chapters in prose paired with comics-style panels, cartoon illustrations, and speech bubbles that will foster engagement and support reading development. Labeled illustrations and end-of-segment extension activities provide additional opportunities for practice centered on the specific phonogram (“ck,” for instance, or “sh”) highlighted in that section. These stories are geared toward emerging readers who are a bit older than the typical beginning reader and are thoughtfully designed to appeal to this older audience with eye-catching graphics and more-complex situations. This is Book 1 in a series intended for children just learning to read or readers with dyslexia and other learning difficulties, to be shared alongside a more experienced reader. Short explanations and strategies for each new phonogram introduced as well as plenty of helpful tips for using the book to support learning are included. Dyslexia-friendly features are integrated into the book. All characters present as white in the illustrations.

A carefully formatted book with supportive features baked in brings new energy to the task of learning to read. (glossary, tips) (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 6-9)

Pub Date: April 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4598-2490-4

Page Count: 168

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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A solid introduction to fascinating artists, some familiar, others less so.

WOMEN ARTISTS A TO Z

Contemporary and historical female artists are showcased for younger readers.

The artists’ names aren’t presented in A-to-Z order. The alphabetical arrangement actually identifies signature motifs (“D is for Dots” for Yayoi Kusama); preferred media (“I is for Ink” for Elizabeth Catlett); or cultural, natural, or personal motives underlying artworks (“N is for Nature” for Maya Lin). Various media are covered, such as painting, box assemblage, collage, photography, pottery, and sculpture. One artist named isn’t an individual but rather the Gee’s Bend Collective, “generations of African American women in Gee’s Bend, Alabama,” renowned for quilting artistry. Each artist and her or their work is introduced on a double-page spread that features succinct descriptions conveying much admiring, easily comprehensible information. Colorful illustrations include graphically simplified representations of the women at work or alongside examples of their art; the spreads provide ample space for readers to understand what the artists produced. Several women were alive when this volume was written; some died in the recent past or last century; two worked several hundred years ago, when female artists were rare. Commendably, the profiled artists are very diverse: African American, Latina, Native American, Asian, white, and multiethnic women are represented; this diversity is reflected in their work, as explained via texts and illustrations.

A solid introduction to fascinating artists, some familiar, others less so. (minibiographies, discussion questions, art suggestions) (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 11, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-10872-7

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2020

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Together with its companions, too rushed to be first introductions but suitable as second ones.

MARIE CURIE AND RADIOACTIVITY

From the Graphic Science Biographies series

A highlights reel of the great scientist’s life and achievements, from clandestine early schooling to the founding of Warsaw’s Radium Institute.

In big sequential panels Bayarri dashes through Curie’s career, barely pausing at significant moments (“Mother! A letter just arrived. It’s from Sweden,” announces young Irène. “Oh, really?…They’re awarding me another Nobel!”) in a seeming rush to cover her youth, family life, discoveries, World War I work, and later achievements (with only a closing timeline noting her death, of “aplastic anemia”). Button-eyed but recognizable figures in the panels pour out lecture-ish dialogue. This is well stocked with names and scientific terms but offered with little or no context—characteristics shared by co-published profiles on Albert Einstein and the Theory of Relativity (“You and your thought experiments, Albert!” “We love it! The other day, Schrödinger thought up one about a cat”), Charles Darwin and the Theory of Evolution, and Isaac Newton and the Laws of Motion. Dark-skinned Tierra del Fuegans make appearances in Darwin, prompting the young naturalist to express his strong anti-slavery views; otherwise the cast is white throughout the series. Engagingly informal as the art and general tone of the narratives are, the books will likely find younger readers struggling to keep up, but kids already exposed to the names and at least some of the concepts will find these imports, translated from the Basque, helpful if, at times, dry overviews.

Together with its companions, too rushed to be first introductions but suitable as second ones. (glossary, index, resource list) (Graphic biography. 7-9)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5415-7821-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Graphic Universe

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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