A literal as well as figurative round that cinematically captures a sense of daily rhythms at this popular gathering place.

READ REVIEW

AN INDIAN BEACH

Observations of hustle and bustle on both sides of a beach’s waterline.

Printed on a long continuous strip that, once pulled out of its sleeve, can either be examined section by folded section or opened into a large circle, Jolivet’s wordless linocut scenes record the passage of a day and a night on Elliot’s Beach, near the southern Indian city of Chennai. Viewers who begin where night gives way to dawn can see fishing boats pushed out in the background, joggers and commuters in modern or traditional dress and conveyances passing in the foreground, and goats and other animals sharing the sand in between with beached catamarans and people on diverse errands. Along with stands and small dwellings, morning crowds of vendors and visitors suddenly appear, vanish in the afternoon heat, then return in early evening until darkness brings another temporary lull. The author supplies general commentary for all of this on the sleeve, but she also invites readers to identify or make up stories about what her figures are doing—and, if so moved, to color them in. She herself colors only the ocean, with a solid blue that continues around to the loop’s inside, where schools of unlabeled but identifiable fish and other sea life (also, potentially, colorable) are thickly packed.

A literal as well as figurative round that cinematically captures a sense of daily rhythms at this popular gathering place. (diagram of display options) (Novelty. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2017

ISBN: 978-93-83145-67-6

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Tara Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 7, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2017

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In what seems like a veritable golden age of beginning readers, perhaps some things are better not published. Or read.

WEDGIEMAN

A HERO IS BORN

From the Adventures of Wedgieman series , Vol. 1

Captain Underpants he ain’t.

Although some may initially associate Harper and Shea’s beginning reader with Pilkey’s popular series, it falls short with a thin story and none of the master's clever sense of subversive, ribald humor. The titular hero starts as Veggiebaby, then becomes Veggieboy, then Veggieman, his growth and development attributed to his love of vegetables. He practices his superpowers as he grows, with text and art taking cheap shots at elderly women (as he lifts “a bus filled with chattering grandmas”) and overweight people (as his X-ray vision enables him to see into a house where a rotund man stands, embarrassed and clad only in his underwear: “Some things are better not seen.”) The book ends with Veggieman getting a new name from children who see a stick stuck to his shirt, making the V into a W, and dub him Wedgieman. “We don’t care about spelling,” they assure him when he objects that the word “wedgie” has a “d” and not a double “g.” His new name is sealed when (in an odd turn of events that is, sadly, characteristic of the poorly executed text) he gives himself a wedgie.

In what seems like a veritable golden age of beginning readers, perhaps some things are better not published. Or read. (Early reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-93071-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 9, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2012

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A serene, feel-good outing with a cozy, old-fashioned feel.

CHIRRI & CHIRRA

From the Chirri & Chirra series

In this Japanese import, the first in a long-running series to appear in English, two girls ride bikes through a forest—with stops for clover-blossom tea and jam sandwiches.

It’s such a benign wood that Chirri and Chirra—depicted as a prim pair of identical twins with straight bob cuts—think nothing of sharing both a lunch spot and a nap beneath a tree with a bear and a rabbit. Moreover, at convenient spots along the way there is a forest cafe with a fox waiter plus “tables and chairs of all different size” to accommodate the diverse forest clientele, a bakery offering “bread in all different shapes and jam in all different colors,” and, just as the sun goes down, a forest hotel with similarly diverse keys and doors. That night a forest concert draws the girls and the hotel’s animal guests to their balconies to join in: “La-la-la, La-la-la. What a wonderful night in the forest!” Despite heavy doses of cute, the episode is saved from utter sappiness by the inclusive spirit of the forest stops and the delightfully unforced way that the girls offer greetings to a pair of honeybees at a tiny adjacent table in the cafe, show no anxiety at the spider dangling above their napping place, and generally accept their harmonious sylvan world as a safe and friendly place. Doi creates her illustrations with colored pencil, pastel, and crayon, crafting them to look like mid-20th-century lithographs.

A serene, feel-good outing with a cozy, old-fashioned feel. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-59270-199-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2016

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