A refreshing antidote to political cynicism.

READ REVIEW

Gary Sees History-A Child's Journey

In this illustrated political memoir for kids, debut author and fifth-grader Hooker learns about politics and experiences history firsthand.

When Hooker’s mom is selected as a delegate for the Democratic National Convention, her son is less than thrilled. After all, being around for the start of fifth grade seems much more important than traveling to a boring old convention, and Hooker is doubtful that voting for America’s first black president matters since “things are better now” that Dr. King has changed the face of civil rights. He changes his mind about attending the convention after a serious talk with his parents and the promise of bringing along his friend Cameron, and before he knows it, Hooker is off to Denver for a life-changing brush with history. The city is full of new sights and sounds for Hooker, from a scary brush with protesters to crowds as big as 80,000. He and Cameron are awestruck. In spite of all the excitement, the boys must wait until the last day for the most exciting moment of all—the chance to see Barack Obama speak. As the boys await the big moment, there’s plenty to learn, including the most powerful lessons of all. Warm and educational, this book is an ideal tool for elementary lessons in current events and politics. The author’s enthusiasm for his candidate is tempered by an evenhanded, diplomatic explanation of protesters and their ability to exercise their constitutional rights. Young readers will be excited to discover that the book documents its young author’s actual experiences, and Hooker’s political engagement makes him a strong role model for a generation of future voters. Digitally minded youngsters will enjoy the accompanying DVD, which visually documents Hooker and Cameron’s trip to Denver in low-key detail. From dips in the hotel pool to footage of the convention speeches, the digital bonus brings modern history to life even beyond the book’s final pages.

A refreshing antidote to political cynicism.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-0-615-57176-5

Page Count: -

Publisher: SEE Entertainment

Review Posted Online: Dec. 31, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2015

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Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit.

THERE'S A MONSTER IN YOUR BOOK

From the There’s a…in Your Book series

Readers try to dislodge a monster from the pages of this emotive and interactive read-aloud.

“OH NO!” the story starts. “There’s a monster in your book!” The blue, round-headed monster with pink horns and a pink-tipped tail can be seen cheerfully munching on the opening page. “Let’s try to get him out,” declares the narrator. Readers are encouraged to shake, tilt, and spin the book around, while the monster careens around an empty background looking scared and lost. Viewers are exhorted to tickle the monster’s feet, blow on the page, and make a really loud noise. Finally, shockingly, it works: “Now he’s in your room!” But clearly a monster in your book is safer than a monster in your room, so he’s coaxed back into the illustrations and lulled to sleep, curled up under one page and cuddling a bit of another like a child with their blankie. The monster’s entirely cute appearance and clear emotional reactions to his treatment add to the interactive aspect, and some young readers might even resist the instructions to avoid hurting their new pal. Children will be brought along on the monster’s journey, going from excited, noisy, and wiggly to calm and steady (one can hope).

Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6456-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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THE NAME JAR

Unhei has just left her Korean homeland and come to America with her parents. As she rides the school bus toward her first day of school, she remembers the farewell at the airport in Korea and examines the treasured gift her grandmother gave her: a small red pouch containing a wooden block on which Unhei’s name is carved. Unhei is ashamed when the children on the bus find her name difficult to pronounce and ridicule it. Lesson learned, she declines to tell her name to anyone else and instead offers, “Um, I haven’t picked one yet. But I’ll let you know next week.” Her classmates write suggested names on slips of paper and place them in a jar. One student, Joey, takes a particular liking to Unhei and sees the beauty in her special stamp. When the day arrives for Unhei to announce her chosen name, she discovers how much Joey has helped. Choi (Earthquake, see below, etc.) draws from her own experience, interweaving several issues into this touching account and delicately addressing the challenges of assimilation. The paintings are done in creamy, earth-tone oils and augment the story nicely. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 10, 2001

ISBN: 0-375-80613-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2001

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