Orbiting between poetic lullaby and astro-powered essentials, Salas and Kim provide a great addition to a nighttime-window...

IF YOU WERE THE MOON

In this inventive and spirited exploration, poetry and science come together to introduce young readers to the role of the moon in our lives here on Earth.

The book opens on a young, light-skinned girl reading in bed; there’s a telescope next to it. She looks out at the moon and says, “I wish I could do exactly nothing, just like you.” The personified moon answers back, offering poetic sentiments that note the several overlooked benefits and often misunderstood facts about our partner in space. The spare primary text is supplemented by blocks of text, set in a smaller font, that explicate it. (For scientific clarity, the illustrations and tidbits were guided and reviewed for accuracy by an astrophysicist.) The text moves through the phases of the moon, then into the role that the moon plays in the ocean tides, along to the world of moonlit nocturnal animals, and finally rounds out with the ways that the moon has been tied into world cultures, including the moon masks of the Baule people of the Ivory Coast and Emily Dickinson. Each illustration is tinged with starlight, making the book a pleasant nighttime read. It’s also apt for the classroom, as the glossary supports an introductory astronomy lesson.

Orbiting between poetic lullaby and astro-powered essentials, Salas and Kim provide a great addition to a nighttime-window reading shelf and/or early-science classroom. (further reading) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4677-8009-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Nov. 23, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2016

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Earnest and silly by turns, it doesn’t quite capture the attention or the imagination, although surely its heart is in the...

ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER

Rhymed couplets convey the story of a girl who likes to build things but is shy about it. Neither the poetry nor Rosie’s projects always work well.

Rosie picks up trash and oddments where she finds them, stashing them in her attic room to work on at night. Once, she made a hat for her favorite zookeeper uncle to keep pythons away, and he laughed so hard that she never made anything publicly again. But when her great-great-aunt Rose comes to visit and reminds Rosie of her own past building airplanes, she expresses her regret that she still has not had the chance to fly. Great-great-aunt Rose is visibly modeled on Rosie the Riveter, the iconic, red-bandanna–wearing poster woman from World War II. Rosie decides to build a flying machine and does so (it’s a heli-o-cheese-copter), but it fails. She’s just about to swear off making stuff forever when Aunt Rose congratulates her on her failure; now she can go on to try again. Rosie wears her hair swooped over one eye (just like great-great-aunt Rose), and other figures have exaggerated hairdos, tiny feet and elongated or greatly rounded bodies. The detritus of Rosie’s collections is fascinating, from broken dolls and stuffed animals to nails, tools, pencils, old lamps and possibly an erector set. And cheddar-cheese spray.

Earnest and silly by turns, it doesn’t quite capture the attention or the imagination, although surely its heart is in the right place. (historical note) (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0845-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2013

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A retro-futuristic romp, literally and figuratively screwy.

ROBOBABY

Robo-parents Diode and Lugnut present daughter Cathode with a new little brother—who requires, unfortunately, some assembly.

Arriving in pieces from some mechanistic version of Ikea, little Flange turns out to be a cute but complicated tyke who immediately falls apart…and then rockets uncontrollably about the room after an overconfident uncle tinkers with his basic design. As a squad of helpline techies and bevies of neighbors bearing sludge cake and like treats roll in, the cluttered and increasingly crowded scene deteriorates into madcap chaos—until at last Cath, with help from Roomba-like robodog Sprocket, stages an intervention by whisking the hapless new arrival off to a backyard workshop for a proper assembly and software update. “You’re such a good big sister!” warbles her frazzled mom. Wiesner’s robots display his characteristic clean lines and even hues but endearingly look like vaguely anthropomorphic piles of random jet-engine parts and old vacuum cleaners loosely connected by joints of armored cable. They roll hither and thither through neatly squared-off panels and pages in infectiously comical dismay. Even the end’s domestic tranquility lasts only until Cathode spots the little box buried in the bigger one’s packing material: “TWINS!” (This book was reviewed digitally with 9-by-22-inch double-page spreads viewed at 52% of actual size.)

A retro-futuristic romp, literally and figuratively screwy. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-544-98731-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

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