Lovely, but for art enthusiasts and book collectors more than for child readers.

BEASTS OF INDIA

An Indian import, this art book functions as an introduction to a variety of traditional art forms from the Indian subcontinent.

Pictures of animals are printed on brightly colored handmade paper on the recto, and the names of the animal and the art form are printed on the bottom of the verso. All the animals pictured are native to India: tigers, lions, bulls, snakes, crocodiles, monkeys, dogs, and elephants. By grouping the animals together—for instance, all the tigers appear together, followed by the lions, and so on—the book actively encourages comparisons among different forms of Indian folk art. An index at the end of the book provides readers with more information regarding the art style, the artist, and where the art originates. The tiger printed in the Pithora tribal art style, for example, is adapted from the original by the artist Paresh Ratva. The style is described as a “Ritual decorative art form, painted on the walls of houses, using natural earth colors”; it is native to the Indian states of Rajasthan and Gujarat. The variations in line, palette, and level of realism are broad, giving readers a good sense of the vigor and diversity of Indian folk art. Although beautifully crafted, however, it is more an artifact than a traditional picture book. Each book is one of a limited printing of 3,000 and includes a framable print.

Lovely, but for art enthusiasts and book collectors more than for child readers. (Picture book. 8-adult)

Pub Date: June 15, 2018

ISBN: 978-93-83145-58-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Tara Publishing

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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A fast and funny alternative to the Wimpy Kid.

JAKE THE FAKE KEEPS IT REAL

From the Jake the Fake series , Vol. 1

Black sixth-grader Jake Liston can only play one song on the piano. He can’t read music very well, and he can’t improvise. So how did Jake get accepted to the Music and Art Academy? He faked it.

Alongside an eclectic group of academy classmates, and with advice from his best friend, Jake tries to fit in at a school where things like garbage sculpting and writing art reviews of bird poop splatter are the norm. All is well until Jake discovers that the end-of-the-semester talent show is only two weeks away, and Jake is short one very important thing…talent. Or is he? It’s up to Jake to either find the talent that lies within or embarrass himself in front of the entire school. Light and humorous, with Knight’s illustrations adding to the fun, Jake’s story will likely appeal to many middle-grade readers, especially those who might otherwise be reluctant to pick up a book. While the artsy antics may be over-the-top at times, this is a story about something that most preteens can relate to: the struggle to find your authentic self. And in a world filled with books about wanting to fit in with the athletically gifted supercliques, this novel unabashedly celebrates the artsy crowd in all of its quirky, creative glory.

A fast and funny alternative to the Wimpy Kid. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: March 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-553-52351-5

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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A LONG WALK TO WATER

BASED ON A TRUE STORY

Salva Dut is 11 years old when war raging in the Sudan separates him from his family. To avoid the conflict, he walks for years with other refugees, seeking sanctuary and scarce food and water. Park simply yet convincingly depicts the chaos of war and an unforgiving landscape as they expose Salva to cruelties both natural and man-made. The lessons Salva remembers from his family keep him from despair during harsh times in refugee camps and enable him, as a young man, to begin a new life in America. As Salva’s story unfolds, readers also learn about another Sudanese youth, Nya, and how these two stories connect contributes to the satisfying conclusion. This story is told as fiction, but it is based on real-life experiences of one of the “Lost Boys” of the Sudan. Salva and Nya’s compelling voices lift their narrative out of the “issue” of the Sudanese War, and only occasionally does the explanation of necessary context intrude in the storytelling. Salva’s heroism and the truth that water is a source of both conflict and reconciliation receive equal, crystal-clear emphasis in this heartfelt account. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-547-25127-1

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2010

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