Even for novice chefs (and readers) the “Ummmm”s are easily attainable.

READ REVIEW

TAMALITOS

UN POEMA PARA COCINAR/A COOKING POEM

The latest of Argueta’s free-verse recipes is a savory tribute to corn—as ancient a foodstuff as it is delicious.

Presented in bilingual passages with the Spanish over the English, his directions begin with an invitation to think about “kernels of corn— / white, yellow, blue ones, / purple, red and black ones— / like a rainbow / when it’s drizzling.” Following references to corn’s antiquity, he goes on to describe how to gather the simple ingredients, assemble the tamalitos and cook them, all while dancing “the Maya corn dance / and the Aztec dance / and the powwow dance / and the corn dance / of all the people of corn.” Using a high intensity palette, Domi reflects the author’s infectious energy in watercolor on wet paper, painting scenes of broadly grinning young cooks capering through cornfields and kitchen, demonstrating how to hold and stuff the corn leaves and then, in the end, chowing down: “Ummmm, ¡qué deliciosos tamalitos, / estos tamalitos de maíz hechos con amor!” Rather than list “oil” and “fresh white cheese” as ingredients, the author could have been more specific, but this is a minor quibble. Steps that require adult assistance are signaled throughout the text with asterisks.

Even for novice chefs (and readers) the “Ummmm”s are easily attainable. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 9, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-55498-300-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Groundwood

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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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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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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