Next book



Clever, complex, yet concise and fun: This guide promises to engage language learners and curious readers.

A visual manual employs digital-age symbols to introduce one of the world’s oldest living forms of writing.

Leveraging widely recognizable and pictographic emoticons, this innovative work appeals to humans’ language instinct and innate playfulness, dismantling potential psychological barriers when approaching something that may feel difficult or inaccessible. The colorful and icon-filled design creates explicit connections between Hanzi—Chinese characters—and emoji, enticing readers to browse and explore together with the anthropomorphic porcine narrator, Jiji, whose profile shows the emoji representing his hanmoji name, Snout Snout. Comparing Hanzi with other logographic languages including Egyptian hieroglyphs, Sumerian, and Mayan, the contents inform and intrigue regardless of one’s prior knowledge of the Chinese language. How might two tree emojis make the word forest? How many spoken language groups and written forms does Chinese currently have? (Answer: 10 and two, respectively) And what is a tonal language? Using crisp layouts, thoughtful descriptions and examples, and illustrated charts, this comprehensive primer entertains while explicating a high-context language family without overgeneralizing or oversimplifying. It also incorporates Chinese culture and philosophy and educates readers about the history and process of emoji creation, among other topics. Through their broad, comparative approach, the savvy creators also demonstrate the hybridity and constantly evolving nature of languages in general.

Clever, complex, yet concise and fun: This guide promises to engage language learners and curious readers. (bibliography, index, image credits) (Nonfiction. 11-18)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5362-1913-5

Page Count: 160

Publisher: MITeen Press/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: April 12, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2022

Next book


From the Pocket Change Collective series

Brief yet inspirational, this story will galvanize youth to use their voices for change.

Teen environmental activist and founder of the nonprofit Hannah4Change, Testa shares her story and the science around plastic pollution in her fight to save our planet.

Testa’s connection to and respect for nature compelled her to begin championing animal causes at the age of 10, and this desire to have an impact later propelled her to dedicate her life to fighting plastic pollution. Starting with the history of plastic and how it’s produced, Testa acknowledges the benefits of plastics for humanity but also the many ways it harms our planet. Instead of relying on recycling—which is both insufficient and ineffective—she urges readers to follow two additional R’s: “refuse” and “raise awareness.” Readers are encouraged to do their part, starting with small things like refusing to use plastic straws and water bottles and eventually working up to using their voices to influence business and policy change. In the process, she highlights other youth advocates working toward the same cause. Short chapters include personal examples, such as observations of plastic pollution in Mauritius, her maternal grandparents’ birthplace. Testa makes her case not only against plastic pollution, but also for the work she’s done, resulting in something of a college-admissions–essay tone. Nevertheless, the first-person accounts paired with science will have an impact on readers. Unfortunately, no sources are cited and the lack of backmatter is a missed opportunity.

Brief yet inspirational, this story will galvanize youth to use their voices for change. (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-22333-8

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

Next book


Wordplay and wry wit put extra fun into a trove of fundamental knowledge.

With an amped-up sense of wonder, the Science Guy surveys the natural universe.

Starting from first principles like the scientific method, Nye and his co-author marvel at the “Amazing Machine” that is the human body then go on to talk up animals, plants, evolution, physics and chemistry, the quantum realm, geophysics, and climate change. They next venture out into the solar system and beyond. Along with tallying select aspects and discoveries in each chapter, the authors gather up “Massively Important” central concepts, send shoutouts to underrecognized women scientists like oceanographer Marie Tharp, and slip in directions for homespun experiments and demonstrations. They also challenge readers to ponder still-unsolved scientific posers and intersperse rousing quotes from working scientists about how exciting and wide open their respective fields are. If a few of those fields, like the fungal kingdom, get short shrift (one spare paragraph notwithstanding), readers are urged often enough to go look things up for themselves to kindle a compensatory habit. Aside from posed photos of Nye and a few more of children (mostly presenting as White) doing science-y things, the full-color graphic and photographic images not only reflect the overall “get this!” tone but consistently enrich the flow of facts and reflections. “Our universe is a strange and surprising place,” Nye writes. “Stay curious.” Words to live by.

Wordplay and wry wit put extra fun into a trove of fundamental knowledge. (contributors, art credits, selected bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 11-15)

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4676-5

Page Count: 264

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Aug. 24, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

Close Quickview