Rather than this one-size-fits-none book, choose one that suits the age and developmental level of a specific intended...

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CLOUDS

A COMPARE AND CONTRAST BOOK

Hall continues her Compare and Contrast series (Polar Bears and Penguins, 2014) with a brief look at the many ways clouds are different from one another.

Seven sentences are split among 14 spreads, each highlighting a single aspect of clouds and featuring gorgeous photographs of skies. “Some clouds tell us a storm is coming; // or that a storm has passed.” With the page turn, black skies over a turquoise ocean give way to white, fluffy clouds over a bright green, rain-washed field, a rainbow arching down. Other opposites include big and fluffy/thin and wispy, colorful/dark, filling the sky/none at all, on the ground/high up, swirl/blanket. A “For Creative Minds” section in the backmatter allows kids to explore the water cycle with some hands-on activities that demonstrate evaporation, condensation and precipitation. Another spread encourages children to learn the four different categories of clouds (and what weather each predicts) and test their understanding with a matching activity. An age range for this title is difficult to pin down: Readers who will appreciate the very simple text will not be able to handle the advanced information presented in the backmatter—“Clouds are collections of small water droplets or ice crystals floating in the atmosphere”—and those who are ready to distinguish cloud types and explore the water cycle will not be captivated by the text.

Rather than this one-size-fits-none book, choose one that suits the age and developmental level of a specific intended audience. (Nonfiction. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-62855-449-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Arbordale

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

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While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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Whimsy, intelligence, and a subtle narrative thread make this rise to the top of a growing list of self-love titles.

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YOU MATTER

Employing a cast of diverse children reminiscent of that depicted in Another (2019), Robinson shows that every living entity has value.

After opening endpapers that depict an aerial view of a busy playground, the perspective shifts to a black child, ponytails tied with beaded elastics, peering into a microscope. So begins an exercise in perspective. From those bits of green life under the lens readers move to “Those who swim with the tide / and those who don’t.” They observe a “pest”—a mosquito biting a dinosaur, a “really gassy” planet, and a dog whose walker—a child in a pink hijab—has lost hold of the leash. Periodically, the examples are validated with the titular refrain. Textured paint strokes and collage elements contrast with uncluttered backgrounds that move from white to black to white. The black pages in the middle portion foreground scenes in space, including a black astronaut viewing Earth; the astronaut is holding an image of another black youngster who appears on the next spread flying a toy rocket and looking lonely. There are many such visual connections, creating emotional interest and invitations for conversation. The story’s conclusion spins full circle, repeating opening sentences with new scenarios. From the microscopic to the cosmic, word and image illuminate the message without a whiff of didacticism.

Whimsy, intelligence, and a subtle narrative thread make this rise to the top of a growing list of self-love titles. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-2169-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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