This just may encourage young readers to look up to the night sky and gain a new friend of their own.

A MOON OF MY OWN

Readers are brought along on a young girl’s imaginative nighttime adventure around the world.

The moon is both a source of wonder for the girl and a companion that is always there. In the first-person narration, the girl addresses the moon directly: “Hey there, Moon. There you are again. / I wonder, why do you follow me?” Subtly, the author addresses some of the questions and observations kids make about this celestial body. “Each night you seem a little different from the night before. / But I always know it’s you.” These queries are answered in the backmatter, which further explains each topic the girl wonders about, describes and maps the places she visits on her adventure, describes the phases of the moon and gives further facts, and provides activities that can help children understand why the moon appears to change. Gorgeous silhouettes against a deep blue, star-spangled sky follow the girl, clad in boots and a dress and sporting a pageboy cut, as she visits the Eiffel Tower, the Trans-Siberian Railway, the Serengeti, the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, Sequoia National Park, the Great Barrier Reef, the Amazon, and the Arctic and Antarctic. Appropriately, the moon changes phase as the pages turn (the new moon is not represented), though it always appears as it would from the Northern Hemisphere.

This just may encourage young readers to look up to the night sky and gain a new friend of their own. (recommended resources) (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-58469-572-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dawn Publications

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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Whimsy, intelligence, and a subtle narrative thread make this rise to the top of a growing list of self-love titles.

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YOU MATTER

Employing a cast of diverse children reminiscent of that depicted in Another (2019), Robinson shows that every living entity has value.

After opening endpapers that depict an aerial view of a busy playground, the perspective shifts to a black child, ponytails tied with beaded elastics, peering into a microscope. So begins an exercise in perspective. From those bits of green life under the lens readers move to “Those who swim with the tide / and those who don’t.” They observe a “pest”—a mosquito biting a dinosaur, a “really gassy” planet, and a dog whose walker—a child in a pink hijab—has lost hold of the leash. Periodically, the examples are validated with the titular refrain. Textured paint strokes and collage elements contrast with uncluttered backgrounds that move from white to black to white. The black pages in the middle portion foreground scenes in space, including a black astronaut viewing Earth; the astronaut is holding an image of another black youngster who appears on the next spread flying a toy rocket and looking lonely. There are many such visual connections, creating emotional interest and invitations for conversation. The story’s conclusion spins full circle, repeating opening sentences with new scenarios. From the microscopic to the cosmic, word and image illuminate the message without a whiff of didacticism.

Whimsy, intelligence, and a subtle narrative thread make this rise to the top of a growing list of self-love titles. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-2169-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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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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