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



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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Trisha is ready to start at a new school, where no one will know she has dyslexia. At first, she is heartbroken to be in Miss Peterson’s special-ed class, aka, “the junkyard.” But Miss Peterson treats the children as anything but junk, showing them that everyone has a unique talent. Polacco’s trademark style is fully present here; her sensitively drawn alter ego shines with depth of feeling. When bullying occurs, Miss Peterson proves her students are worthwhile by planning a junkyard field trip, where they find valuable objects to be used in exciting ways. Trisha’s group repairs a plane, and the class buys an engine for it. Then a beloved class member dies, and the children must find a way to honor him. While the plot meanders somewhat, the characters are appealing, believable and provide a fine portrayal of a truly special class. Children will be drawn in by the story’s warmth and gentle humor and will leave with a spark of inspiration, an appreciation of individual differences and a firm anti-bullying message, all underscored by the author’s note that concludes the book. (Picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: July 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-399-25078-1

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2010

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When Bibi, her first and favorite babysitter, moves away, it takes all of August for 8-year-old Eleanor to get beyond her sense of loss and get used to a new caretaker. Her parents grieve, too; her mother even takes some time off work. But, as is inevitable in a two-income family, eventually a new sitter appears. Natalie is sensible and understanding. They find new activities to do together, including setting up a lemonade stand outside Eleanor’s Brooklyn apartment building, waiting for Val, the mail carrier, and taking pictures of flowers with Natalie’s camera. Gradually Eleanor adjusts, September comes, her new teacher writes a welcoming letter, her best friend returns from summer vacation and third grade starts smoothly. Best of all, Val brings a loving letter from Bibi in Florida. While the story is relatively lengthy, each chapter is a self-contained episode, written simply and presented in short lines, accessible to those still struggling with the printed word. Cordell’s gray-scale line drawings reflect the action and help break up the text on almost every page. This first novel is a promising debut. Eleanor’s concerns, not only about her babysitter, but also about playmates, friends and a new school year will be familiar to readers, who will look forward to hearing more about her life. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-8109-8424-0

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2011

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