Not exactly a heaping helping of words and art, but handsomely designed and rich in the sort of observations that will...


Broadly daubed, semiabstract views of children and animals illustrate 10 short, reflective lyrics by an Argentinean poet.

“All that I have is a lot: / my dog Oliver, / wind hitting me in the face / and your laughter that explodes for no reason.” Placed beneath their Spanish originals on cream-colored pages, the translated poems speak in relatively simple language and imagery. They imagine a rooster and a hen orbiting each other, wading toes as little fish, the son and moon daydreaming together, a street like a tree’s trunk with roots and blossoms extending tantalizingly out of sight in different directions. Using markers, linocuts and other media, Iranian artist Zahedi offers fanciful but recognizable views of each poem’s subject and speaker. Smudgily reminiscent of Chris Raschka's work, the little dreamscapes are marvels of micro-composition and color.

Not exactly a heaping helping of words and art, but handsomely designed and rich in the sort of observations that will attract readers for whom silence is “louder than noise.” (Poetry. 9-12)

Pub Date: March 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-55498-158-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Groundwood

Review Posted Online: Feb. 15, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2012

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After Castro’s takeover, nine-year-old Julian and his older brothers are sent away by their fearful parents via “Operation Pedro Pan” to a camp in Miami for Cuban-exile children. Here he discovers that a ruthless bully has essentially been put in charge. Julian is quicker-witted than his brothers or anyone else ever imagined, though, and with his inherent smarts, developing maturity and the help of child and adult friends, he learns to navigate the dynamics of the camp and surroundings and grows from the former baby of the family to independence and self-confidence. A daring rescue mission at the end of the novel will have readers rooting for Julian even as it opens his family’s eyes to his courage and resourcefulness. This autobiographical novel is a well-meaning, fast-paced and often exciting read, though at times the writing feels choppy. It will introduce readers to a not-so-distant period whose echoes are still felt today and inspire admiration for young people who had to be brave despite frightening and lonely odds. (Historical fiction. 9-12)


Pub Date: Aug. 3, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-59643-168-3

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: June 14, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2010

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From the Swindle series , Vol. 1

Eleven-year-old Griffin Bing is “the man with the plan.” If something needs doing, Griffin carefully plans a fix and his best friend Ben usually gets roped in as assistant. When the town council ignores his plan for a skate park on the grounds of the soon-to-be demolished Rockford House, Griffin plans a camp-out in the house. While there, he discovers a rare Babe Ruth baseball card. His family’s money worries are suddenly a thing of the past, until unscrupulous collectables dealer S. Wendell Palomino swindles him. Griffin and Ben plan to snatch the card back with a little help. Pet-lover Savannah whispers the blood-thirsty Doberman. Rock-climber “Pitch” takes care of scaling the house. Budding-actor Logan distracts the nosy neighbor. Computer-expert Melissa hacks Palomino’s e-mail and the house alarm. Little goes according to plan, but everything turns out all right in this improbable but fun romp by the prolific and always entertaining Korman. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: March 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-439-90344-0

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2008

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