A tasty (if slight) tour of fast-food offerings the world over.

Sticky fingers, smudged faces, and full bellies—the hallmarks of good street food everywhere.

Whether purchased from a street vendor in Athens, a bike vendor in Marrakech, a train station in Mumbai, one thing is universal: The mouthwatering aromas of cooking food beguile people on highways, alleyways, and byways. Larios’ whimsical tribute to the comfort found in munching mandu in Seoul or chomping a churro in Oaxaca will stir memories of places far away—or right next door. These sometimes-awkward, four- to six-line poems are little bites of specific places and experiences—try a deep-fried scorpion on a stick in Beijing or the black devil’s broth in Surabaya, East Java! Not so adventuresome? How about pretzels in New York or Fenway franks in Boston? Paschkis’ vibrant, opaque watercolor scenes whisk readers off to an Israeli beach or a celebration in Peru. A few page turns later, and the scene is at the foot of a baobab tree in Senegal. Diverse dishes for diverse cultures. Readers will be sorry, however, there is no illustrated food glossary. In the closing “International Menu of Sweets and Treats,” some dishes, such as the devil’s broth, are vividly explained, but others are only names mentioned in passing—Russian pelmeni, piroshki, and blini are lumped together as “savory pastries.” (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at actual size.)

A tasty (if slight) tour of fast-food offerings the world over. (Picture book/poetry. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 13, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5344-5377-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 1, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021



A lushly illustrated homage to librarians who provide a welcome and a home away from home for all who enter.

A love letter to libraries.

A Black child, with hair in two puffballs tied with yellow ribbons, a blue dress with a Peter Pan collar, and black patent leather Mary Janes, helps Grandmother with the housework, then, at Grandmother’s suggestion, heads to the library. The child’s eagerness to go, with two books under an arm and one in their hand, suggests that this is a favorite destination. The books’ wordless covers emphasize their endless possibilities. The protagonist’s description of the library makes clear that they are always free to be themselves there—whether they feel happy or sad, whether they’re reading mysteries or recipes, and whether they feel “quick and smart” or “contained and cautious.” Robinson’s vibrant, carefully composed digital illustrations, with bright colors that invite readers in and textures and patterns in every image, effectively capture the protagonist’s passion for reading and appreciation for a space where they feel accepted regardless of disposition. In her author’s note, Giovanni states that she spent summers visiting her grandmother in Knoxville, Tennessee, where she went to the Carnegie Branch of the Lawson McGhee Library. She expresses gratitude for Mrs. Long, the librarian, who often traveled to the main library to get books that Giovanni could not find in their segregated branch. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A lushly illustrated homage to librarians who provide a welcome and a home away from home for all who enter. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-358-38765-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Versify/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022



There’s always tomorrow.

A lyrical message of perseverance and optimism.

The text uses direct address, which the title- and final-page illustrations suggest comes from an adult voice, to offer inspiration and encouragement. The opening spreads reads, “Tonight as you sleep, a new day stirs. / Each kiss good night is a wish for tomorrow,” as the accompanying art depicts a child with black hair and light skin asleep in a bed that’s fantastically situated in a stylized landscape of buildings, overpasses, and roadways. The effect is dreamlike, in contrast with the next illustration, of a child of color walking through a field and blowing dandelion fluff at sunrise. Until the last spread, each child depicted in a range of settings is solitary. Some visual metaphors falter in terms of credibility, as in the case of a white-appearing child using a wheelchair in an Antarctic ice cave strewn with obstacles, as the text reads “you’ll explore the world, only feeling lost in your imagination.” Others are oblique in attempted connections between text and art. How does a picture of a pale-skinned, black-haired child on a bridge in the rain evoke “first moments that will dance with you”? But the image of a child with pink skin and brown hair scaling a wall as text reads “there will be injustice that will challenge you, and it will surprise you how brave you can be” is clearer.

There’s always tomorrow. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-101-99437-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

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