Diversity, love and affection depicted visually, and a small format easily shared between an adult and a child add up to...

GRANDMA'S FAVORITE

Is it a universal truth that all grandmas indulge their grandchildren?

The grandmas in this book hail from many different countries, as indicated on an unlabeled map stretched across the front endpapers, with thumbnail pictures of interior illustrations as keys. There are visual clues as to geography in the illustrations (a Hawaiian appliqued quilt, a palm-lined cricket field, some architectural details in some illustrations, a jeepney with a license plate “Love2U Filipinas”), and different skin colors and hair textures provide hints to racial differences, but readers may need to look elsewhere to confirm country names. The mixed-media illustrations have a cartoonish cast, but the people are individuals, with some grandmas looking quite young and others much older, just as in real families. The rhyming text is simple, but it emphasizes the personalities and interests of the grown-ups and the connections that grandmas make with their grandchildren: “My grandma’s favorite hat does not have fancy bows. / She wears it when she’s fixing cars, / or in her workout clothes.” Some stereotypes are broken (the Belgian car-fixing granny), some endure (the Brazilian grandma’s fear of frogs). The companion volume Grandpa’s Favorite features different countries but uses the same format. Both end with small pictorial vignettes showing how grandparents and grandkids separated by distance stay in touch.

Diversity, love and affection depicted visually, and a small format easily shared between an adult and a child add up to good choices for Grandparent’s Day or the year round. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-61067-617-5

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

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A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

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BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way.

NOAH CHASES THE WIND

A young boy sees things a little differently than others.

Noah can see patterns in the dust when it sparkles in the sunlight. And if he puts his nose to the ground, he can smell the “green tang of the ants in the grass.” His most favorite thing of all, however, is to read. Noah has endless curiosity about how and why things work. Books open the door to those answers. But there is one question the books do not explain. When the wind comes whistling by, where does it go? Noah decides to find out. In a chase that has a slight element of danger—wind, after all, is unpredictable—Noah runs down streets, across bridges, near a highway, until the wind lifts him off his feet. Cowman’s gusty wisps show each stream of air turning a different jewel tone, swirling all around. The ribbons gently bring Noah home, setting him down under the same thinking tree where he began. Did it really happen? Worthington’s sensitive exploration leaves readers with their own set of questions and perhaps gratitude for all types of perspective. An author’s note mentions children on the autism spectrum but widens to include all who feel a little different.

An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60554-356-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Redleaf Lane

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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