Despite quibbles, this and its companion are refreshingly developmentally appropriate and strive hard to truly reflect our...

SHOW ME HOW YOU FEEL

From the Point to Books series

A diverse crew of babies and toddlers demonstrates a variety of feelings and physical states in clear, stock photos.

A smiling toddler with dark brown hair and eyes and light brown skin is paired with the following text on a full-page photo: “This boy is happy. I feel happy too.” This pattern repeats with both boy and girl tots of a variety of ethnic backgrounds and one disability (one girl appears to have Down syndrome) displaying sadness, anger, hunger, thirst. Despite the title, more than feelings are modeled; the youngsters are also shown playing, being quiet, and hugging. The companion book in the Point to Books series, which encourages parents to help their little ones to point to the pictures to develop communication skills, is titled Show Me Your Day. Again, a diverse cast takes readers through a baby's or toddler’s day from sunup to sundown. While some may question the sequencing (tooth-brushing is mentioned before a meal) and the lack of a nap, the text is perfect in its simplicity and directness: “It is time to eat.” In both books, the photos are from a variety of sources and vary in quality. Some look to be studio shots and others appear to be natural and candid.

Despite quibbles, this and its companion are refreshingly developmentally appropriate and strive hard to truly reflect our diverse world. (Board book. 6 mos.-2)

Pub Date: June 25, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-59572-754-1

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Star Bright

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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Wonderful, indeed

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  • New York Times Bestseller

THE WONDERFUL THINGS YOU WILL BE

A GROWING-UP POEM

A love song to baby with delightful illustrations to boot.

Sweet but not saccharine and singsong but not forced, Martin’s text is one that will invite rereadings as it affirms parental wishes for children while admirably keeping child readers at its heart. The lines that read “This is the first time / There’s ever been you, / So I wonder what wonderful things / You will do” capture the essence of the picture book and are accompanied by a diverse group of babies and toddlers clad in downright adorable outfits. Other spreads include older kids, too, and pictures expand on the open text to visually interpret the myriad possibilities and hopes for the depicted children. For example, a spread reading “Will you learn how to fly / To find the best view?” shows a bespectacled, school-aged girl on a swing soaring through an empty white background. This is just one spread in which Martin’s fearless embrace of the white of the page serves her well. Throughout the book, she maintains a keen balance of layout choices, and surprising details—zebras on the wallpaper behind a father cradling his child, a rock-’n’-roll band of mice paralleling the children’s own band called “The Missing Teeth”—add visual interest and gentle humor. An ideal title for the baby-shower gift bag and for any nursery bookshelf or lap-sit storytime.

Wonderful, indeed . (Picture book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-37671-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2015

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Good Guys and Bad get just deserts in the end, and Stanley gets plenty of opportunities to display pluck and valor in this...

HOLES

Sentenced to a brutal juvenile detention camp for a crime he didn't commit, a wimpy teenager turns four generations of bad family luck around in this sunburnt tale of courage, obsession, and buried treasure from Sachar (Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger, 1995, etc.).

Driven mad by the murder of her black beau, a schoolteacher turns on the once-friendly, verdant town of Green Lake, Texas, becomes feared bandit Kissin' Kate Barlow, and dies, laughing, without revealing where she buried her stash. A century of rainless years later, lake and town are memories—but, with the involuntary help of gangs of juvenile offenders, the last descendant of the last residents is still digging. Enter Stanley Yelnats IV, great-grandson of one of Kissin' Kate's victims and the latest to fall to the family curse of being in the wrong place at the wrong time; under the direction of The Warden, a woman with rattlesnake venom polish on her long nails, Stanley and each of his fellow inmates dig a hole a day in the rock-hard lake bed. Weeks of punishing labor later, Stanley digs up a clue, but is canny enough to conceal the information of which hole it came from. Through flashbacks, Sachar weaves a complex net of hidden relationships and well-timed revelations as he puts his slightly larger-than-life characters under a sun so punishing that readers will be reaching for water bottles.

Good Guys and Bad get just deserts in the end, and Stanley gets plenty of opportunities to display pluck and valor in this rugged, engrossing adventure. (Fiction. 9-13)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 978-0-374-33265-5

Page Count: 233

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2000

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