Not of general interest to the intended audience.

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THE WARLI PEOPLE

From the Trade Winds series

The women of the Warli people of western India first produced wall murals, but now men commercially produce these designs on paper and canvases.

Focusing on quotidian activities, these paintings are highly recognizable due to their use of geometric shapes, including figures created with two triangles, one inverted above the other. White, rice-flour people, animals, trees, and symbols are traditionally painted on dark backgrounds made of red mud or cow dung. Jeong has skillfully created a series of paintings that look like the originals. She has taken a few liberties in doing one double-page spread with brown ink on a beige background and one illustration with a green background. Part of the Trade Winds series “featuring stories set in key periods of the history of economy and culture,” the book’s main attraction is the strong illustrations, which will probably appeal more to adults interested in folk art than young children. The simple text accompanying each spread is appropriate for children but often seems so generalized that it could almost describe any agricultural society. Troublingly, the book almost gives the impression that the Warli people no longer exist. The backmatter attempts to contextualize this culture within other agricultural societies but confuses rather than enlightens.

Not of general interest to the intended audience. (cultural, historical, and art-historical notes, glossary, timeline) (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-8028-5476-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Eerdmans

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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This lighthearted addition to the STEM shelf encourages children to question, hypothesize, experiment, and observe.

IT'S A ROUND, ROUND WORLD!

From the Joulia Copernicus series

In a confident first-person narrative, young scientist Joulia Copernicus debunks the story that Columbus “proved Earth is round.”

Informing readers that Columbus knew this fact, and so did most people of his time, Joulia also points out that “Ancient Greek, Islamic, and Indian scholars theorized that Earth was round WAY before Columbus’s time.” Confident Joulia explains how Columbus, shown as a haughty captain in the humorous, cartoon illustrations, and his fellow mariners confirmed Earth was round by discerning “that when ships sail away from you, they seem to disappear from the bottom. When they sail toward you, they appear from the top. On a flat Earth, you’d see the entire ship the entire time.” The accompanying illustrations, almost like animation cels, provide the visuals readers need to confirm these assertions. Joulia also turns to astronomy. A lunar eclipse is the highlight of a double-page spread with a large yellow sun, a personified blue and green Earth wearing sunglasses, and the moon moving in iterations through the Earth’s shadow. This shows readers that the Earth’s shadow is “ROUND!” Joulia has straight, brown hair and pale skin and is almost always the only human in any given illustration. It’s great to see a young woman scientist, but it’s too bad there’s not more diversity around her. Two experiments stimulate further exploration.

This lighthearted addition to the STEM shelf encourages children to question, hypothesize, experiment, and observe. (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-63592-128-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: StarBerry Books

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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A book to share that celebrates an immigrant and his abiding love for his adopted country, its holidays, and his “home sweet...

IRVING BERLIN, THE IMMIGRANT BOY WHO MADE AMERICA SING

A Jewish immigrant from Russia gives America some of its most iconic and beloved songs.

When Israel Baline was just 5 years old, his family fled pogroms in the Russian Empire and landed in New York City’s Lower East Side community. In the 1890s the neighborhood was filled with the sights, smells, and, most of all, sounds of a very crowded but vibrant community of poor Europeans who sailed past the Statue of Liberty in New York’s harbor to make a new life. Israel, who later became Irving Berlin, was eager to capture those sounds in music. He had no formal musical training but succeeded grandly by melding the rich cantorial music of his father with the spirit of America. Churnin’s text focuses on Berlin’s early years and how his mother’s words were an inspiration for “God Bless America.” She does not actually refer to Berlin as Jewish until her author’s note. Sanchez’s digital illustrations busily fill the mostly dark-hued pages with angular faces and the recurring motif of a very long swirling red scarf, worn by Berlin throughout. Librarians should note that the CIP information and the timeline are on pages pasted to the inside covers.

A book to share that celebrates an immigrant and his abiding love for his adopted country, its holidays, and his “home sweet home.” (author’s note, timeline) (Picture book/biography. 6-9)

Pub Date: June 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-939547-44-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Creston

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2018

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