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

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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This outing lacks the sophistication of such category standards as Clementine; here’s hoping English amps things up for...

DOG DAYS

From the Carver Chronicles series , Vol. 1

A gentle voice and familiar pitfalls characterize this tale of a boy navigating the risky road to responsibility. 

Gavin is new to his neighborhood and Carver Elementary. He likes his new friend, Richard, and has a typically contentious relationship with his older sister, Danielle. When Gavin’s desire to impress Richard sets off a disastrous chain of events, the boy struggles to evade responsibility for his actions. “After all, it isn’t his fault that Danielle’s snow globe got broken. Sure, he shouldn’t have been in her room—but then, she shouldn’t be keeping candy in her room to tempt him. Anybody would be tempted. Anybody!” opines Gavin once he learns the punishment for his crime. While Gavin has a charming Everyboy quality, and his aversion to Aunt Myrtle’s yapping little dog rings true, little about Gavin distinguishes him from other trouble-prone protagonists. He is, regrettably, forgettable. Coretta Scott King Honor winner English (Francie, 1999) is a teacher whose storytelling usually benefits from her day job. Unfortunately, the pizzazz of classroom chaos is largely absent from this series opener.

This outing lacks the sophistication of such category standards as Clementine; here’s hoping English amps things up for subsequent volumes. (Fiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: Dec. 17, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-547-97044-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 2, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2013

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Good-hearted fun—great for fans of Kit Feeny and Babymouse.

MEET THE BIGFEET

From the Yeti Files series , Vol. 1

It’s a Bigfeet family reunion!

Everyone’s favorite frosty, furry cryptid, the yeti, actually has a name: Blizz Richards. From his supersecret HQ in Nepal he keeps in touch with his fellow cryptids, all of whom have sworn an oath to keep themselves hidden. That’s not always easy, especially when there are cryptozoologists, like the nasty (but bumbling) George Vanquist, who are always trying to expose the secretive creatures. Vanquist got a picture of Blizz’s cousin Brian near his home in British Columbia, causing the mortified Brian to disappear entirely. When Blizz receives an invitation to a Bigfeet family reunion in Canada, he calls his buddies Alexander (one of Santa’s elves), Gunthar (a goblin) and Frank the Arctic fox to help him get ready. When they arrive in Canada, Brian is still nowhere to be seen. Can Blizz and his skunk ape and other sasquatch cousins find Brian, have the reunion and evade Vanquist? If anyone can, the Bigfeet clan can. Illustrator Sherry’s first volume in the Yeti Files is a fast and funny graphic-prose tale full of labeled pictures and comic-style panels. Those just starting chapter books may have some trouble with a few big words, but they’ll enjoy the big friendly monsters and immediately ask for the next tale—which looks to be about the Loch Ness monster.

Good-hearted fun—great for fans of Kit Feeny and Babymouse. (Graphic/fantasy hybrid. 7-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-55617-0

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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