An obvious choice in communities that have active Edible Schoolyards, it may spark some interest in communities that do...

ALICE WATERS AND THE TRIP TO DELICIOUS

From the Food Heroes series

Alice Waters, restaurateur and founder of the school garden-to-table program the Edible Schoolyard, is feted in this lively biography.

Lines of black text are laid out over colorful double-page spreads that, through skilled use of Adobe Photoshop, have a pleasing resemblance to woodblock prints. In fact, the art greatly enhances the text, with its varied multitude of cheerful people growing, preparing and enjoying food, as well as the use of different framing techniques and vantage points. The book begins with a double-page spread showing, apparently, an oversize Waters serving salad to a happy group of multicultural children. The text, arranged in a quasi–free-verse form, reads: “Some people want new red shoes. / Some want to sing on stage / or play basketball. / … / [Chef Alice Waters,] She wants / the hungry kids, the happy kids, / the tall kids, the short kids / to have a delicious lunch—every day.” The text becomes less patronizing and more interesting as it progresses, chronicling the life of one contemporary foodie who has worked to make a difference in children’s nutritional lives. A tendency toward textual insipidity is mitigated by the artwork’s humor and details, as well as by several informative sidebars.

An obvious choice in communities that have active Edible Schoolyards, it may spark some interest in communities that do not—yet. (afterword, author’s note, bibliography, resources) (Picture book/biography. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 9, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-9836615-6-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Readers to Eaters

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2014

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A humorous tribute to the zany, determined and innovative side of invention.

PAPA'S MECHANICAL FISH

Young Virena, one of four children, provides inspiration for her aspiring inventor papa’s latest ambitious construction: a submarine.

Fleming bases her tale on the true story of Civil War–era inventor Lodner Phillips, who tried his hand at submarine design on the shores of Lake Michigan. In Fleming’s lively, enthusiastic account, Papa builds three increasingly large and more complicated underwater vehicles, each of which sinks, with Papa emerging cheerfully, if damply, ready for the next round. As Virena muses on the nature of marine life, providing Papa with ideas for improvements, the baby interjects disarmingly funny comments: “No pee pee!” chortles the baby when Virena asks how fish stay dry. The Whitefish IV has room for everyone, and Papa puts his entire family into the contraption—somehow the cheerful presentation keeps readers from worrying about the outcome. Kulikov’s expansive, comical illustrations offer exaggerated perspectives from above and below the deep blue-green water, huge and beautiful fish just under the surface and a loving family for the determined inventor. Blueprints for each version of the mechanical fish are included—a neat glimpse into the invention process—while the peculiarly human expressions on the family bulldog remind readers that this is a fantasy. An author’s note and an extensive list of adult resources give background information about the real Lodner Phillips.

A humorous tribute to the zany, determined and innovative side of invention. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: June 11, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-374-39908-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Margaret Ferguson/Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Review Posted Online: April 10, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

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A lyrical coming-of-age story in picture-book form that begs to be shared.

IMAGINE

Former Poet Laureate Herrera encourages his young readers to imagine all they might be in his new picture book.

Herrera’s free verse tells his own story, starting as a young boy who loves the plants and animals he finds outdoors in the California fields and is then thrust into the barren, concrete city. In the city he begins to learn to read and write, learning English and discovering a love for words and the way ink flows “like tiny rivers” across the page as he applies pen to paper. Words soon become sentences, poems, lyrics, and a means of escape. This love of the word ultimately leads him to make writing his vocation and to become the first Chicano Poet Laureate of the United States, an honor Herrera received in 2015. Through this story of hardship to success, expressed in a series of conditional statements that all begin “If I,” Herrera implores his readers to “imagine what you could do.” Castillo’s ink and foam monoprint illustrations are a tender accompaniment to Herrera’s verse, the black lines of her illustrations flowing across the page in rhythm with the author’s poetry. Together this makes for a charming read-aloud for groups or a child snuggled in a lap.

A lyrical coming-of-age story in picture-book form that begs to be shared. (Picture book/memoir. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9052-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

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