With illustrations that suggest a sunny memory, Felicia's story shows the ways that she's part of a continuing cycle, rather...

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A CHARMED LIFE / UNA VIDA CON SUERTE

A young Latina girl has an unexpected encounter while accompanying her mother to work in this bilingual picture book touching on the immigrant experience.

When Felicia arrives by bus with her mother to her housekeeping job at a beautiful gated house with a fountain in front, she's told to behave. Felicia works with her coloring book, but she's restless. "I don't really like the headscarf, nor do I really like being here. / No me gusta el pañuelo que lleva en la cabeza, tampoco me gusta mucho estar aquí," she says. Felicia begins exploring the house, finding a nursery and a set of swings. Rather than get in trouble, Felicia is joined by the homeowner, a white woman who brings lemonade and cookies. Mrs. Fitzpatrick shares with Felicia the story of her own family's journey from Ireland for a better life. "That's what your mom wants for you too. / Eso es lo que tu mamá quere para ti," she tells Felicia. She gives Felicia a bracelet; its charms appear throughout the book, separating and symbolically tying in to the English and Spanish texts. With a deft and subtle touch, author Barbieri, the daughter of Salvadoran and Nicaraguan parents, captures a small but resonant moment. The reaction of Felicia's mother, for example, rings true. She's guarded about the gift at first, an open-ended response that encourages readers to wonder why.

With illustrations that suggest a sunny memory, Felicia's story shows the ways that she's part of a continuing cycle, rather than an outsider, and does it without belaboring the point . (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 31, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-55885-827-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Piñata Books/Arté Público

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2016

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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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A validating and breathtaking next chapter of a Mother Goose favorite.

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AFTER THE FALL (HOW HUMPTY DUMPTY GOT BACK UP AGAIN)

Humpty Dumpty, classically portrayed as an egg, recounts what happened after he fell off the wall in Santat’s latest.

An avid ornithophile, Humpty had loved being atop a high wall to be close to the birds, but after his fall and reassembly by the king’s men, high places—even his lofted bed—become intolerable. As he puts it, “There were some parts that couldn’t be healed with bandages and glue.” Although fear bars Humpty from many of his passions, it is the birds he misses the most, and he painstakingly builds (after several papercut-punctuated attempts) a beautiful paper plane to fly among them. But when the plane lands on the very wall Humpty has so doggedly been avoiding, he faces the choice of continuing to follow his fear or to break free of it, which he does, going from cracked egg to powerful flight in a sequence of stunning spreads. Santat applies his considerable talent for intertwining visual and textual, whimsy and gravity to his consideration of trauma and the oft-overlooked importance of self-determined recovery. While this newest addition to Santat’s successes will inevitably (and deservedly) be lauded, younger readers may not notice the de-emphasis of an equally important part of recovery: that it is not compulsory—it is OK not to be OK.

A validating and breathtaking next chapter of a Mother Goose favorite. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62672-682-6

Page Count: 45

Publisher: Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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