Bright, well-researched, and welcome.

FRED'S BIG FEELINGS

THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF MISTER ROGERS

An account of the life of this humble giant of children’s television.

Children know about emotions perhaps before any other concepts—big emotions, too, like fear, sadness, frustration, joy, love. Fred Rogers understood this and used the medium of television to connect with children and help them manage and accept their emotions. From a childhood often spent inside and isolated from other children who bullied him to his career change from ministry to children’s media, Rogers’ life was punctuated and driven by the emotions he felt, recognized, and then used to add authenticity and tenderness to his television shows. Using second person, as well as Rogers’ iconic phrase, “Hello neighbor,” Renauld’s lively, approachable text welcomes young readers in the same way that Rogers welcomed his young viewers into his living-room set. Words describing emotions are italicized throughout for emphasis and recognition by children, and myriad details offer touchstones for grown-ups familiar with the show. Bold colors spotlight each spread, especially an array of individual panels that illustrate the feelings children experience daily. The book ends as it began, with a message validating each reader’s intrinsic worth; it’s one we should all have in our hearts, every day of our lives. A note from the author offers additional biographical details. It’s an excellent companion to You Are My Friend, by Aimee Reid and Matt Phelan (2019), with a personality all its own.

Bright, well-researched, and welcome. (Picture book/biography. 5-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-4122-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Engaging, well-chosen images and a clear, coherent text illuminate the importance of empathy for the world’s inhabitants.

A WORLD TOGETHER

Large color photographs (occasionally composed of montages) and accessible, simple text highlight global similarities and differences, always focusing on our universal connections.

While child readers may not recognize Manzano, the Puerto Rican actress who played Maria on Sesame Street, adults will recognize her as a trusted diverse voice. In her endnote, she explains her desire to “encourage lively conversations about shared experiences.” Starting out with the familiar, home and community, the text begins with “How many WONDERFUL PEOPLE do you know?” Then it moves out to the world: “Did you know there are about 8 BILLION PEOPLE on the planet?” The photo essay features the usual concrete similarities and differences found in many books of this type, such as housing (a Mongolian yurt opposite a Hong Kong apartment building overlooking a basketball court), food (dumplings, pizza, cotton candy, a churro, etc.), and school. Manzano also makes sure to point out likenesses in emotions, as shown in a montage of photos from countries including China, Spain, Kashmir (Pakistan/India), and the United States. At the end, a world map and thumbnail images show the locations of all photos, revealing a preponderance of examples from the U.S. and a slight underrepresentation for Africa and South America.

Engaging, well-chosen images and a clear, coherent text illuminate the importance of empathy for the world’s inhabitants. (Informational picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4263-3738-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: National Geographic Kids

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Vital information for young media consumers; it couldn’t be timelier.

FACTS VS. OPINIONS VS. ROBOTS

Charismatic robots populate this primer for kids growing up in an era when facts are considered debatable and opinions are oft expressed loudly and without empathy.

Rex tackles a very serious topic infrequently addressed in kids’ books: how to tell the difference between provable facts and far-less-provable opinions. To do this, Rex employs a handful of colorful and chatty robot pals who run through enough examples to make the distinctions clear. For instance, it’s a fact that the blue robot has two arms while the gold robot has four. However, while they both like to dance, it’s less certain there’s a definitive answer to the question: “Which of them has the coolest moves?” When the green and yellow robots share their preferences for ice cream (yes, robots eat ice cream, just add oil or nuts and bolts), it turns into a fight that might have come off a Twitter thread (“We are getting chocolate!” “No way, buckethead!”). Via a series of reboots, the robots learn how to respect opinions and engage in compromise. It’s a welcome use of skill-building to counter an information landscape filled with calls of “Fake news!” and toxic online discourse. Rex never says that these ’bots sometimes act like social media bots when they disagree, but he doesn’t have to. Perhaps most importantly, Rex’s robots demonstrate that in the absence of enough information, it’s perfectly fine to wait before acting.

Vital information for young media consumers; it couldn’t be timelier. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 11, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-1626-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more