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

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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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Cool and stylish.

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ADA TWIST, SCIENTIST

Her intellectual curiosity is surpassed only by her passion for science. But what to do about her messy experiments?

Ada is speechless until she turns 3. But once she learns how to break out of her crib, there’s no stopping the kinky-haired, brown-skinned girl. “She tore through the house on a fact-finding spree.” When she does start speaking, her favorite words are “why,” “how,” and “when.” Her parents, a fashion-forward black couple who sport a variety of trendy outfits, are dumbfounded, and her older brother can only point at her in astonishment. She amazes her friends with her experiments. Ada examines all the clocks in the house, studies the solar system, and analyzes all the smells she encounters. Fortunately, her parents stop her from putting the cat in the dryer, sending her instead to the Thinking Chair. But while there, she covers the wall with formulae. What can her parents do? Instead of punishing her passion, they decide to try to understand it. “It’s all in the heart of a young scientist.” Though her plot is negligible—Ada’s parents arguably change more than she does—Beaty delightfully advocates for girls in science in her now-trademark crisply rhyming text. Roberts’ illustrations, in watercolor, pen, and ink, manage to be both smart and silly; the page compositions artfully evoke the tumult of Ada’s curiosity, filling white backgrounds with questions and clutter.

Cool and stylish. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2137-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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