APPLES

“An apple is a wonderful thing—a perfect handful of portable food, wrapped in a package of its very own skin.” So begins this—one would have to say delicious—story of how apples grow and the ways they come to us. Robbins’s (Thunder on the Plains, 2001, etc.) photographs are hand-colored, giving them an old-fashioned feel but also allowing them a vibrancy and—one would have to say juiciness—that complements the text. Readers learn how apples are rarely grown from seed, but grafted, about apple blossoms and the work of bees in the orchard, how apples are harvested, and some of their many uses. A century-old cider press and an apple-cheeked girl eyeing a glass of cider are among the pictures, and it is very hard to gaze upon the pot of apples turning into applesauce or the apple slices in pie crust without salivating. Robbins employs a nice selection of close-up and wider views, of apples dancing on a white page or full-bleed of a boy picking apples in a tree. A not-entirely-serious authorial “More About Apples” is appended. Would make a yummy storytime with Deborah Turney Zagwyn’s Apple Batter (1999) and Nancy Elizabeth Wallace’s Apples, Apples, Apples (2000). (Picture book/nonfiction. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-689-83024-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2002

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Informative, empowering, and fun.

ROX'S SECRET CODE

Girl power abounds in this book about coding that introduces young readers to the world of programming while offering them hands-on activities via a companion app.

In this title that was first introduced as a customizable, personalized print-on-demand product, Rox has a superpower. Using code, she programs toy robots that can do things like make broccoli disappear—or mischief. When Dad tells Rox to clean her room, she quickly thinks up a bot that will do it for her, writing code that instructs her bot to use artificial intelligence to sort objects by color and type. Though Rox knows that there’s a high potential for her creation to rebel, the perks outweigh any potential adverse effects. Rox’s robot has her room neat and tidy in no time—and then the entire home. Chorebot’s AI allows it to keep learning, and it seems Chorebot can do no wrong until the robot decides to rearrange the entire city (both buildings and people) by type, style, and gender. Chorebot goes “out of his artificial mind!” Rox must now stop her creation…without the assistance of the internet. The artwork, styled in the tradition of popular superhero series, is peppy and colorful, and it depicts Rox as an adorable black girl donning a black bomber jacket and a pink tutu. A companion app (not available for review) allows readers to create a bot of their own.

Informative, empowering, and fun. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-57687-899-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: POW!

Review Posted Online: Sept. 2, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

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HELLO, HARVEST MOON

As atmospheric as its companion, Twilight Comes Twice, this tone poem pairs poetically intense writing with luminescent oils featuring widely spaced houses, open lawns, and clumps of autumnal trees, all lit by a huge full moon. Fletcher tracks that moon’s nocturnal path in language rich in metaphor: “With silent slippers / it climbs the night stairs,” “staining earth and sky with a ghostly glow,” lighting up a child’s bedroom, the wings of a small plane, moonflowers, and, ranging further afield, harbor waves and the shells of turtle hatchlings on a beach. Using creamy brushwork and subtly muted colors, Kiesler depicts each landscape, each night creature from Luna moths to a sleepless child and her cat, as well as the great moon sweeping across star-flecked skies, from varied but never vertiginous angles. Closing with moonset, as dawn illuminates the world with a different kind of light, this makes peaceful reading either in season, or on any moonlit night. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2003

ISBN: 0-618-16451-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2003

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