The target audience may be a bit perplexed, but if invested adults love the topic, a shared reading experience can’t be beat.

READ REVIEW

WHAT IS PUNK?

A punk primer for the youngest set.

There is no doubt that kids can make a deafening roar. But do they care about the energy and hard-edged spirit of punk music? Morse, in attempt to capture that unique history, tells the story of punk within the confines of rhyming couplets. The rhymes give the text an appreciated momentum, but the cramped (and sometimes-stilted) cadence seems an odd choice for such an aggressive movement. Morse says himself of punk beginnings: "With their eyes open wide / they shouted in fear, / 'What new sound is this?' / and covered their ears.” Regardless, Morse does include an impressive list of bands: the Ramones, Iggy Pop and the Stooges, and across the pond to the Clash, and, yes, even the Sex Pistols (the ladies of punk are represented as well—we’ll disregard the stereotypical pink backdrop). Yi’s incredibly detailed clay figures are a kinetic and inspired art choice. Their crazy creativity matches the expressive spirit of punk. Morse doesn’t necessarily answer the title question, instead offering a simple string of bands, but as he points out, the best way to learn about punk is just to listen.

The target audience may be a bit perplexed, but if invested adults love the topic, a shared reading experience can’t be beat. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-61775-392-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Akashic

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

This simple and sincere tale of working up courage to face fears makes quite a splash.

JABARI JUMPS

Young Jabari decides today is the day he is going to jump from the diving board, even though it’s a little high and a little scary.

Jabari’s father and baby sister accompany him to the swimming pool in the city, where Jabari has already made up his mind about today’s goal: jumping off the diving board. “I’m a great jumper,” he says, “so I’m not scared at all.” But that’s not entirely true. Readers see Jabari play the waiting game as the other children (a diverse bunch) make their ways past him in line. Once Jabari finally begins to climb up, he slyly remembers that he forgot to “stretch.” The stalling techniques don’t faze his dad, who sees an opportunity for a life lesson. “It’s okay to feel a little scared,” offers his dad at the side of the pool. With renewed will, Jabari returns to the towering diving board, ready to embrace the feat. In her debut, Cornwall places her loving black family at the center, coloring the swimming pool and park beyond in minty hues and adding whimsy with digitally collaged newspaper for skyscrapers. A bird’s-eye view of Jabari’s toes clinging to the edge of the diving board as he looks way, way down at the blue pool below puts readers in his head and in the action.

This simple and sincere tale of working up courage to face fears makes quite a splash. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 9, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7838-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Make space for this clever blend of science and self-realization.

A PLACE FOR PLUTO

If Pluto can’t be a planet—then what is he?

Having been a regular planet for “the better part of forever,” Pluto is understandably knocked out of orbit by his sudden exclusion. With Charon and his four other moons in tow he sets off in search of a new identity. Unfortunately, that only spins him into further gloom, as he doesn’t have a tail like his friend Halley’s comet, is too big to join Ida and the other asteroids, and feels disinclined to try to crash into Earth like meteoroids Gem and Persi. Then, just as he’s about to plunge into a black hole of despair, an encounter with a whole quartet of kindred spheroids led by Eris rocks his world…and a follow-up surprise party thrown by an apologetic Saturn (“Dwarf planet has a nice RING to it”) and the other seven former colleagues literally puts him “over the moon.” Demmer gives all the heavenly bodies big eyes (some, including the feminine Saturn, with long lashes) and, on occasion, short arms along with distinctive identifying colors or markings. Dressing the troublemaking meteoroids in do-rags and sunglasses sounds an off note. Without mentioning that the reclassification is still controversial, Wade closes with a (somewhat) straighter account of Pluto’s current official status and the reasons for it.

Make space for this clever blend of science and self-realization. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68446-004-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Capstone Young Readers

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more