A great resource for organizations that work with children and families alike.



Nonprofit organization KaBOOM’s goal is to encourage children to engage in outdoor play, and this collection of 69 group games will give both adults and children a wide variety of answers to the question, “What should we do?”

Organized according to game type, the book focuses on versions of tag, hide-and-seek, ball games, team games, sidewalk games, circle games and races. Those who peruse the pages will find many old favorites here, from flashlight tag and capture the flag to hopscotch and Simon Says. But there are also many that are destined to be newfound favorites. An intriguing summertime one, "drip-drip-drop," is a variation of duck-duck-goose that uses a bucket and a water source. For the most part, the game rules are well written and easy to understand, encapsulated on one page with a bar at the bottom so readers can tell at a glance the number of players needed, appropriate ages and material and space requirements. Materials are mostly inexpensive things that schools and even many families are likely to already have at hand. Bright patterns, simple drawings and photos of diverse children at play add color and break up the text. Sections at the beginning and end tell adults how to best be partners in children’s play and how to create safe play spaces that will get kids outdoors.

A great resource for organizations that work with children and families alike. (Nonfiction. 5 & up)

Pub Date: March 13, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7636-5530-3

Page Count: 104

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2012

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A moving picture book about the resilience one can find in one’s cultural inheritance.


A renowned Indigenous dancer tells her story.

At 4 years old, author Thundercloud, of the Ho-Chunk Nation and Sandia Pueblo, received her first jingle dress—an intricate, hand-sewn garment worn by Indigenous dancers. When she performed for the first time at a powwow, her spirit soared. This feeling never left Thundercloud, and as she grew up, she began dancing in the Native “fancy shawl” tradition as well as in contemporary, jazz, tap, ballet, and modern styles. Despite her meteoric rise in numerous dance communities (which eventually led to her becoming an internationally renowned professional dancer), Thundercloud was a “shy” kid who “didn’t fit in.” She was perpetually “the only Indigenous girl in class,” no one pronounced her name—Wakąja haja pįįwįga, or “Beautiful Thunder Woman”—correctly, and the timid girl “never corrected them.” As Thundercloud reached adulthood, she found strength through her ancestral dance and the birth of her daughter. Empowered by her heritage, Thundercloud now corrects those who mispronounce her daughter Yelihwaha•wíhta’s name (“She Brings Good Energy”), lifting up “a language that still exists, and a culture that we still honor, despite many attempts to wipe it out forever.” Accompanied by Fuller’s evocative illustrations that fill pages with bright colors and dynamic figures, Thundercloud’s rousing story of an uncertain child who grows to take pride in her identity will resonate with readers. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A moving picture book about the resilience one can find in one’s cultural inheritance. (Picture-book autobiography. 5-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-09389-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2022

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Blandly laudatory.


From the Ordinary People Change the World series

The iconic animator introduces young readers to each “happy place” in his life.

The tally begins with his childhood home in Marceline, Missouri, and climaxes with Disneyland (carefully designed to be “the happiest place on Earth”), but the account really centers on finding his true happy place, not on a map but in drawing. In sketching out his early flubs and later rocket to the top, the fictive narrator gives Ub Iwerks and other Disney studio workers a nod (leaving his labor disputes with them unmentioned) and squeezes in quick references to his animated films, from Steamboat Willie to Winnie the Pooh (sans Fantasia and Song of the South). Eliopoulos incorporates stills from the films into his cartoon illustrations and, characteristically for this series, depicts Disney as a caricature, trademark mustache in place on outsized head even in childhood years and child sized even as an adult. Human figures default to white, with occasional people of color in crowd scenes and (ahistorically) in the animation studio. One unidentified animator builds up the role-modeling with an observation that Walt and Mickey were really the same (“Both fearless; both resourceful”). An assertion toward the end—“So when do you stop being a child? When you stop dreaming”—muddles the overall follow-your-bliss message. A timeline to the EPCOT Center’s 1982 opening offers photos of the man with select associates, rodent and otherwise. An additional series entry, I Am Marie Curie, publishes simultaneously, featuring a gowned, toddler-sized version of the groundbreaking physicist accepting her two Nobel prizes.

Blandly laudatory. (bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-7352-2875-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2019

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