This is more than just a book about making and engineering: Make an excellent choice to add this to the shelves.

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BE A MAKER

Follow along as a child makes a spaceship, a friend, and a difference in her community.

“Ask yourself this question in the morning when you wake: / in a world of possibilities, today, what will you make?” Upon waking up, a young girl uses her imagination and things she has at home to make a tower, a drum set, and a spaceship. When she ventures outside, she makes a new friend. Working together, they make a lemonade stand and then make a donation to the local park. Finally, they make a choice to help more in order to make a difference in their community. Howes speaks to readers in rhyming verse about the many things they can make, intentionally repeating the verb throughout. Including themes of creativity, imagination, music, engineering, relationships, economics, and community service, she creates a powerful message about making choices to be proud of. Vukovic uses mixed media, including watercolors and crayon, to create lively, striking illustrations. The pictures capture a child’s imagination and how ordinary things can be made into something extraordinary. Together the text and the illustrations create an excellent read that will empower readers to reflect on their own lives and make a change or two or three. The unnamed protagonist has brown skin and long, dark braids; her friend presents white.

This is more than just a book about making and engineering: Make an excellent choice to add this to the shelves. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5124-9802-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Carolrhoda

Review Posted Online: Dec. 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

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A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

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BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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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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