This is not a stellar choice for encouraging children to care for their planet.




Residents from the fictional planet Globux tell of how their planet was ruined—and warn people living on Earth to beware a similar plight.

Short sentences throughout are set in black, seemingly hand-printed capital letters against what look like strips of white paper. Each verso is backgrounded plainly in a solid color, while art on each recto is detailed, colorful, and apparently computer-generated. The quasi-biblical opening accompanies a small, white-marbled ball in a dark sky: “In the beginning, on the planet Globux, there was only a small pile of rocks.” The next two double-page spreads offer more of the Creation story, with the advent of water, plants, animals, and, finally, humans. The small, detailed drawings fill up appropriately. After this, every spread details the many ways that people on the planet used and abused resources, with a recurring concluding litany: “…and a bit of earth disappeared.” Apparently “earth” is used for soil, but readers might find it odd that the word “Globux” was not used instead. Changes in the plethora of animals, plants, and human creations are unbearably subtle in the first few pages, and then there is sudden, dark nothingness, followed by the aforementioned warning to earthlings. As the destruction worsens, the palette darkens and the strips of text both grow smaller and crowd to the bottom of the page. Although the illustrations will entertain children, the text—at first dark and then didactic—is unlikely to appeal. The overall effect is of apocalypse rather than hope.

This is not a stellar choice for encouraging children to care for their planet. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7893-3430-5

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Universe/Rizzoli

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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It’s gratifying to see Lola’s love of books leading her to new experiences.


From the Lola & Leo series

Hoping to have a garden like the one in her poetry book, Lola plants seeds, waits and weeds, and finally celebrates with friends.

The author and illustrator of Lola Loves Stories (2010) and its companion titles take their appealing character outside. Inspired by her favorite poem, the nursery rhyme “Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary” (repeated on the front endpapers), Lola chooses her favorite flowers from library books. Helped by her parents, she grows a grandly diverse flower garden, just right for a celebration with peas and strawberries from the family plot. Beardshaw’s acrylic illustrations show her garden in all its stages. They also show the copper-toned preschooler reading on her mother’s lap, making a flower book, a beaded string with bells and shells, a little Mary Mary doll and cupcakes for the celebration. Her bunchy ponytails are redone, and her flower shirt is perfect for the party. Not only has she provided the setting; she makes up a story for her friends. The simple sentences of the text and charming pictures make this a good choice for reading aloud or early reading alone. On the rear endpapers, the nursery rhyme has been adapted to celebrate “Lola, Lola, Extraordinary.”

It’s gratifying to see Lola’s love of books leading her to new experiences. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 5, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-58089-694-8

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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A quiet, warm look at the bond between grandfather and grandson.


After a visit, an African-American grandfather and grandson say farewell under a big yellow moon. Granpa tells Max it is the same moon he will see when he gets home.

This gently told story uses Max’s fascination with the moon’s ability to “tag along” where his family’s car goes as a metaphor for his grandfather’s constant love. Separating the two relatives is “a swervy-curvy road” that travels up and down hills, over a bridge, “past a field of sleeping cows,” around a small town and through a tunnel. No matter where Max travels, the moon is always there, waiting around a curve or peeking through the trees. But then “[d]ark clouds tumbled across the night sky.” No stars, no nightingales and no moon are to be found. Max frets: “Granpa said it would always shine for me.” Disappointed, Max climbs into bed, missing both the moon and his granpa. In a dramatic double-page spread, readers see Max’s excitement as “[s]lowly, very slowly, Max’s bedroom began to fill with a soft yellow glow.” Cooper uses his signature style to illustrate both the landscape—sometimes viewed from the car windows or reflected in the vehicle’s mirror—and the expressive faces of his characters. Coupled with the story’s lyrical text, this is a lovely mood piece.

A quiet, warm look at the bond between grandfather and grandson. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: June 13, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-399-23342-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2013

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