Elucidating, descriptive and full of details to fascinate, if it lacks the artistry of such other flights as Airport, by...




What is it like to fly in a plane?

From starting-off point to final destination, this descriptive tale provides a well-thought-out, gently humorous depiction of an airplane trip. When Janet asks her Aunt Laura what it was like to fly up for a visit, Aunt Laura answers in great detail, going through each step of the process, from packing and security to bathroom breaks and landing, giving particular attention to the smells, sounds, sights and little surprises she encountered on her journey. Simplified, digital illustrations replete with relevant detail work closely with the text to show what the experience is like; general descriptions appear atop the pages, while speech bubbles reveal Aunt Laura’s and Uncle Mark’s thoughts and comments. The humorous detail and in-depth description will fascinate any child interested in airports and planes. Initially created for the author’s niece and illustrator’s daughter, who has Asperger’s syndrome and is anxious, this was intended to help prepare children for an unfamiliar experience and focuses on sensory issues that may come up, always in a positive manner. Though the story skews younger, older children with similar disabilities or anxieties may find it helpful as well. Endnotes contain suggestions for helping a child become less apprehensive and more acclimated to the experience of flying.

Elucidating, descriptive and full of details to fascinate, if it lacks the artistry of such other flights as Airport, by Byron Barton. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-84905-913-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Review Posted Online: July 18, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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A treat to be savored—and a lesson learned—any time of year.


From the Love Monster series

The surprised recipient of a box of chocolates agonizes over whether to eat the whole box himself or share with his friends.

Love Monster is a chocoholic, so when he discovers the box on his doorstep, his mouth waters just thinking about what might be inside; his favorite’s a double chocolate strawberry swirl. The brief thought that he should share these treats with his friends is easily rationalized away. Maybe there won’t be enough for everyone, perhaps someone will eat his favorite, or, even worse, leave him with his least favorite: the coffee one! Bright’s pacing and tone are on target throughout, her words conveying to readers exactly what the monster is thinking and feeling: “So he went into his house. And so did the box of chocolates…without a whisper of a word to anyone.” This is followed by a “queasy-squeezy” feeling akin to guilt and then by a full-tilt run to his friends, chocolates in hand, and a breathless, stream-of-consciousness confession, only to be brought up short by what’s actually in the box. And the moral is just right: “You see, sometimes it’s when you stop to think of others…that you start to find out just how much they think of you.” Monster’s wide eyes and toothy mouth convey his emotions wonderfully, and the simple backgrounds keep the focus on his struggle.

A treat to be savored—and a lesson learned—any time of year. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-00-754030-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2015

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Vital messages of self-love for darker-skinned children.


On hot summer nights, Amani’s parents permit her to go outside and play in the apartment courtyard, where the breeze is cool and her friends are waiting.

The children jump rope to the sounds of music as it floats through a neighbor’s window, gaze at stars in the night sky, and play hide-and-seek in the moonlight. It is in the moonlight that Amani and her friends are themselves found by the moon, and it illumines the many shades of their skin, which vary from light tan to deep brown. In a world where darkness often evokes ideas of evil or fear, this book is a celebration of things that are dark and beautiful—like a child’s dark skin and the night in which she plays. The lines “Show everyone else how to embrace the night like you. Teach them how to be a night-owning girl like you” are as much an appeal for her to love and appreciate her dark skin as they are the exhortation for Amani to enjoy the night. There is a sense of security that flows throughout this book. The courtyard is safe and homelike. The moon, like an additional parent, seems to be watching the children from the sky. The charming full-bleed illustrations, done in washes of mostly deep blues and greens, make this a wonderful bedtime story.

Vital messages of self-love for darker-skinned children. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: July 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-55271-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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