Educators will find value in this valiant effort to share a foreign culture with American children.

READ REVIEW

FIND MOM'S WOK

As Shao Ming hunts for her mother’s beloved wok, she embarks on a mouthwatering journey through her village.

On Zhong Qiu Jie, or the Mid-Autumn Festival, Shao Ming is tasked with delivering her mom’s wok to her uncle’s house. On her way, she stops to watch the parade. Shao Ming is “mesmerized by the huge dragon” and, in her daze, loses track of the wok. Devastated, she scours the neighborhood, inadvertently going on a foodie adventure. First, Shao Ming samples mapo tofu, a spicy Szechuan dish of pork and tofu at a local restaurant. Then, she shares a pot of tea with an elderly man to “calm [her] heart” and lunches on steamed crabs dipped in soy sauce—a Shanghainese specialty. At her last stop, a dim sum restaurant, the chef tells Shao Ming to go home, saying that her mother would “be sadder to have lost you than to have lost the wok.” While the story is an enjoyable vehicle for insight into Chinese culture and cuisine, the stiff prose (apparently literally translated from the original Korean) is not picture-book friendly. Thankfully, lively and colorful illustrations bolster the book, vividly capturing life in a rural Chinese village. Noh doesn’t skimp on minutiae. Everything from stir-fried veggies and dim sum delicacies to painted teapots and popping firecrackers is drawn to delicate detail.

Educators will find value in this valiant effort to share a foreign culture with American children. (cultural, culinary notes) (Picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: May 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-939248-23-7

Page Count: 38

Publisher: TanTan

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 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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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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