A new and moving look at one of the most disgraceful events in U.S. history, effectively told with childlike surrealism.

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FISH FOR JIMMY

INSPIRED BY ONE FAMILY'S EXPERIENCE IN A JAPANESE AMERICAN INTERNMENT CAMP

Based on her great-grandfather’s experience in a Japanese “internment camp,” Yamasaki tells how Taro takes care of his younger brother, Jimmy, when he stops eating.

Fish has been a mainstay of their diet, but there is none in the camp. Much to his mother’s shame and distress, Jimmy simply refuses to eat. Yamasaki’s muscular acrylics depict fish swimming through the air all around Jimmy, giving concrete image to his longing. To save his brother’s life, at night Taro cuts through the barbed-wire fence, finds a distant stream, catches fish with his hands and returns—thus saving Jimmy’s life. Primarily a muralist, Yamasaki tellingly conveys the dangers Taro undergoes in her art, since the camp is guarded by armed soldiers in watch towers, closed in by fences and illuminated by floodlights. Her illustrations also picture people and places, both at home and in internment. A “Dear Reader” note relates a brief history of the evacuation and her family’s story, accompanied by archival photographs of the author’s family and the Granada Relocation Center in Colorado.

A new and moving look at one of the most disgraceful events in U.S. history, effectively told with childlike surrealism. (Picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: April 15, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2375-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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THE STONE OF FIRE

From the Cavemice series , Vol. 1

Warp back in time for a prehistoric spinoff adventure with Geronimo Stilton’s ancestor, Geronimo Stiltonoot, in Old Mouse City.

Readers will find Geronimo Stiltonoot a familiar character, outfitted differently from descendant Stilton yet still running a newspaper and having wild adventures. In this introduction to prehistoric mouse life, someone has stolen the most powerful and important artifact housed by the Old Mouse City Mouseum: the Stone of Fire. It’s up to Stiltonoot and his fellow sleuth and friend, Hercule Poirat, to uncover not only the theft, but a dangerous plot that jeopardizes all of Old Mouse City. As stand-ins for the rest of the Stilton cast, Stiltonoot has in common with Stilton a cousin named Trap, a sister named Thea and a nephew named Benjamin. The slapstick comedy and design, busy with type changes and color, will be familiar for Stilton readers. The world is fictionalized for comedic effect, featuring funny uses for dinosaurs and cheeky references to how far back in time they are, with only the occasional sidebar that presents facts. The story takes a bit long to get started, spending a lot of time reiterating the worldbuilding information laid out before the first chapter. But once it does start, it is an adventure Stilton readers will enjoy. Geronimo Stiltonoot has the right combination of familiarity and newness to satisfy Stilton fans. (Fiction. 6-10)

 

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-545-44774-4

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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Patchy work, both visually and teleologically.

YOU'RE HERE FOR A REASON

The sultana of high-fructose sentimentality reminds readers that they really are all that.

Despite the title, we’re actually here for a couple of reasons. In fulsome if vague language Tillman embeds one message, that acts of kindness “may triple for days… / or set things in motion in different ways,” in a conceptually separate proposition that she summarizes thus: “perhaps you forgot— / a piece of the world that is precious and dear / would surely be missing if you weren’t here.” Her illustrations elaborate on both themes in equally abstract terms: a lad releases a red kite that ends up a sled for fox kits, while its ribbons add decorative touches to bird nests and a moose before finally being vigorously twirled by a girl and (startlingly) a pair of rearing tigers. Without transition the focus then shifts as the kite is abruptly replaced by a red ball. Both embodied metaphors, plus children and animals, gather at the end for a closing circle dance. The illustrator lavishes attention throughout on figures of children and wild animals, which are depicted with such microscopically precise realism that every fine hair and feather is visible, but she then floats them slightly above hazy, generic backdrops. The overall design likewise has a slapdash feel, as some spreads look relatively crowded with verses while others bear only a single line or phrase.

Patchy work, both visually and teleologically. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-05626-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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