A healthy step beyond typical catalogs of touristic highlights but not parochial Eurocentrism

CITY ATLAS

TRAVEL THE WORLD WITH 30 CITY MAPS

Tantalizing selections of local sights for prospective young visitors decorate aerial maps of 30 world cities.

Though close in both concept and look to Maggie Li’s Big City Explorer (2016), this overview of the world’s great cities is concocted with a more active form of tourism in mind. “Go crazy for Portuguese custard tarts,” Cherry invites visitors to Lisbon. “Wander around the Praça do Comércio,” or “hitch a ride on the funicular, Elevador da Glória.” Or “visit the ZKP Tagansky Cold War Museum” in Moscow, “see a show at the Museo Argentino del Títere puppet Museum,” or “feed the deer in Seoul Forest.” Along with stylized but recognizable buildings and natural features, Haake scatters on each highly simplified street map a mix of people, animals, art, and several tiny seek-and-find items for viewers to pick out. Prospective travelers may come away with the idea that almost all the women in Rio wear bikinis and other odd impressions (“Try some of the world’s best bagels” in Montreal? Fugeddaboudit!), but in the American and even Scandinavian cities, variations in skin tone at least hint at diverse populations. There are a few errors too: New York’s F.A.O. Schwartz has closed. More problematically, over half of the chosen cities are in Europe and only three in the U.S.; China is represented by Hong Kong and all of Africa by Cape Town alone.

A healthy step beyond typical catalogs of touristic highlights but not parochial Eurocentrism . (Informational picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: July 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-84780-701-4

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2016

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An uncomplicated opener, with some funny bits and a clear but not heavy agenda.

BOOKMARKS ARE PEOPLE TOO!

From the Here's Hank series , Vol. 1

Hank Zipzer, poster boy for dyslexic middle graders everywhere, stars in a new prequel series highlighting second-grade trials and triumphs.

Hank’s hopes of playing Aqua Fly, a comic-book character, in the upcoming class play founder when, despite plenty of coaching and preparation, he freezes up during tryouts. He is not particularly comforted when his sympathetic teacher adds a nonspeaking role as a bookmark to the play just for him. Following the pattern laid down in his previous appearances as an older child, he gets plenty of help and support from understanding friends (including Ashley Wong, a new apartment-house neighbor). He even manages to turn lemons into lemonade with a quick bit of improv when Nick “the Tick” McKelty, the sneering classmate who took his preferred role, blanks on his lines during the performance. As the aforementioned bully not only chokes in the clutch and gets a demeaning nickname, but is fat, boastful and eats like a pig, the authors’ sensitivity is rather one-sided. Still, Hank has a winning way of bouncing back from adversity, and like the frequent black-and-white line-and-wash drawings, the typeface is designed with easy legibility in mind.

An uncomplicated opener, with some funny bits and a clear but not heavy agenda. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-448-48239-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: Dec. 11, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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Alert readers will find the implicit morals: know your audience, mostly, but also never underestimate the power of “rock”...

THE SINGING ROCK & OTHER BRAND-NEW FAIRY TALES

The theme of persistence (for better or worse) links four tales of magic, trickery, and near disasters.

Lachenmeyer freely borrows familiar folkloric elements, subjecting them to mildly comical twists. In the nearly wordless “Hip Hop Wish,” a frog inadvertently rubs a magic lamp and finds itself saddled with an importunate genie eager to shower it with inappropriate goods and riches. In the title tale, an increasingly annoyed music-hating witch transforms a persistent minstrel into a still-warbling cow, horse, sheep, goat, pig, duck, and rock in succession—then is horrified to catch herself humming a tune. Athesius the sorcerer outwits Warthius, a rival trying to steal his spells via a parrot, by casting silly ones in Ig-pay Atin-lay in the third episode, and in the finale, a painter’s repeated efforts to create a flattering portrait of an ogre king nearly get him thrown into a dungeon…until he suddenly understands what an ogre’s idea of “flattering” might be. The narratives, dialogue, and sound effects leave plenty of elbow room in Blocker’s big, brightly colored panels for the expressive animal and human(ish) figures—most of the latter being light skinned except for the golden genie, the blue ogre, and several people of color in the “Sorcerer’s New Pet.”

Alert readers will find the implicit morals: know your audience, mostly, but also never underestimate the power of “rock” music. (Graphic short stories. 8-10)

Pub Date: June 18, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-59643-750-0

Page Count: 112

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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