A lovely way for children to imagine what happens to a wish.

READ REVIEW

A WISH IS A SEED

Who hasn’t wondered where a wish goes?

In this airy musing, a wish floats on the wind like a maple seed. The wish takes a breathtaking journey, sailing over water, drifting through canyons, gliding down streets and along roofs, weaving among raindrops. Then it tumbles to the ground and waits, very still. At just the right time, “it sends down a silent root / and pushes up a hopeful shoot.” The shoot, in turn, grows, reaches up and out until it “bravely / blooms.” The simple, gentle narrative concludes as it began: “A wish is a seed carried on the wind.” But how that wish has burgeoned! By the end, it’s thrived and become a symbol flush with hope and possibilities to be marveled at in wide-eyed wonder by a young black child and dad—the objects of the wish? Readers should appreciate not only the fanciful notion of what happens to a wish, but also the whimsical typesetting: Some words and phrases are set upside down, sideways, or curved, the text playfully emulating the wish’s acrobatics. The evocative, slightly surreal illustrations work beautifully with the lyrical story. Mostly dark-blue or dark-green backgrounds throw details of the city setting and natural world into relief. One delightful spread shows the “wish tree” in its bright red-orange blooming splendor.

A lovely way for children to imagine what happens to a wish. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 25, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-56846-338-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Creative Editions/Creative Company

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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“It’s time to head back home,” the narrator concludes. “You’ve touched the Earth in so many ways.” Who knew it would be so...

TOUCH THE EARTH

From the Julian Lennon White Feather Flier Adventure series , Vol. 1

A pro bono Twinkie of a book invites readers to fly off in a magic plane to bring clean water to our planet’s oceans, deserts, and brown children.

Following a confusingly phrased suggestion beneath a soft-focus world map to “touch the Earth. Now touch where you live,” a shake of the volume transforms it into a plane with eyes and feathered wings that flies with the press of a flat, gray “button” painted onto the page. Pressing like buttons along the journey releases a gush of fresh water from the ground—and later, illogically, provides a filtration device that changes water “from yucky to clean”—for thirsty groups of smiling, brown-skinned people. At other stops, a tap on the button will “help irrigate the desert,” and touching floating bottles and other debris in the ocean supposedly makes it all disappear so the fish can return. The 20 children Coh places on a globe toward the end are varied of skin tone, but three of the four young saviors she plants in the flier’s cockpit as audience stand-ins are white. The closing poem isn’t so openly parochial, though it seldom rises above vague feel-good sentiments: “Love the Earth, the moon and sun. / All the children can be one.”

“It’s time to head back home,” the narrator concludes. “You’ve touched the Earth in so many ways.” Who knew it would be so easy to clean the place up and give everyone a drink? (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: April 11, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5107-2083-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 4, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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Readers (and listeners) will think that this book is the bee’s knees.

THE HONEYBEE

Children will be buzzing to learn more about honeybees after reading this story.

Hall takes her readers on a sunny romp through a springtime pasture abuzz with friendly honeybees in this bright and cheerful picture book. Hall’s rhyme scheme is inviting and mirrors the staccato sounds of a bee buzzing. At times, however, meaning seems to take a back seat to the rhyme. The bees are suggested to “tap” while flying, a noise that adult readers might have trouble explaining to curious listeners. Later, the “hill” the bees return to may elicit further questions, as this point is not addressed textually or visually. Minor quibbles aside, the vocabulary is on-point as the bees demonstrate the various stages of nectar collection and honey creation. Arsenault’s illustrations, a combination of ink, gouache, graphite, and colored pencil, are energetic and cheerful. Extra points should be awarded for properly illustrating a natural honeybee hive (as opposed to the often depicted wasp nest). The expressive bees are also well-done. Their faces are welcoming, but their sharp noses hint at the stingers that may be lurking behind them. Hall’s ending note to readers will be appreciated by adults but will require their interpretation to be accessible to children. A sensible choice for read-alouds and STEAM programs.

Readers (and listeners) will think that this book is the bee’s knees. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: May 8, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4814-6997-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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