An engaging, well-illustrated invitation to look at the world from a different—and higher—angle.

THE ADVENTURES OF LEONARDO THE DRONE

BOOK 1: PHOTOS FROM THE SKY

A young girl discovers how a drone can enhance her photography skills in this series-starting picture book by debut author Purdy and illustrator Rodella-Purdy (The Little Gray Squirrel, 2019, etc.).

Leah is frustrated that she can’t seem to win the monthly photo contest at her local library. She loves finding new and different angles to capture images. Inspired by flying birds, she attempts to take pictures of things from above, using a number of tools with underwhelming results, before she buys a drone. She names it “Leonardo,” after Leonardo da Vinci, and experiments with flying it until she becomes confident in her skills. She then selects her favorite new drone-assisted photo for the contest. Readers will be unsurprised by Leah’s victory, but parents are more likely to appreciate how Leah devotes herself to practicing her craft. Purdy’s present-tense narration lends immediacy to Leah’s experiments, and the straightforward vocabulary and sentence structure will encourage independent reading. Rodella-Purdy’s cartoonlike digital images effectively capture Leah’s inventive problem-solving paired with her successful and failed photos. QR codes (not tested) offer readers a chance to see more drone photos online. A text introduction to drone technology is included at the end of the book.

An engaging, well-illustrated invitation to look at the world from a different—and higher—angle.

Pub Date: Oct. 29, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-9996842-4-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Creative Cat Media

Review Posted Online: Dec. 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

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BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some...

RALPH TELLS A STORY

With a little help from his audience, a young storyteller gets over a solid case of writer’s block in this engaging debut.

Despite the (sometimes creatively spelled) examples produced by all his classmates and the teacher’s assertion that “Stories are everywhere!” Ralph can’t get past putting his name at the top of his paper. One day, lying under the desk in despair, he remembers finding an inchworm in the park. That’s all he has, though, until his classmates’ questions—“Did it feel squishy?” “Did your mom let you keep it?” “Did you name it?”—open the floodgates for a rousing yarn featuring an interloping toddler, a broad comic turn and a dramatic rescue. Hanlon illustrates the episode with childlike scenes done in transparent colors, featuring friendly-looking children with big smiles and widely spaced button eyes. The narrative text is printed in standard type, but the children’s dialogue is rendered in hand-lettered printing within speech balloons. The episode is enhanced with a page of elementary writing tips and the tantalizing titles of his many subsequent stories (“When I Ate Too Much Spaghetti,” “The Scariest Hamster,” “When the Librarian Yelled Really Loud at Me,” etc.) on the back endpapers.

An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some budding young writers off and running. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2012

ISBN: 978-0761461807

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Amazon Children's Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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