Both entertaining and thoughtful, this book is a good choice for families looking to foster a sense of social conscience.

That Day in September and other Rhymes for the Times

A book of nursery rhymes for a new generation, with topical references to the world we live in.

Nursery rhymes evolved in the Western world of the 18th century, when childhood was increasingly seen as a distinct phase of life deserving of unique considerations: clothing, food, literature and entertainment. The world has continued to change since then, and Lime’s book of poetry for children, her first, attempts to keep pace. Her poems, mostly written in limerick-style verse, are outwardly simple and easily understood by young readers and listeners. There are the girl who loves shoes, the friends who encounter a bear, the boy who eats too much. But, in the back of the book, each poem also has an accompanying explanation, ostensibly directed at parents and caregivers, outlining a larger cultural significance. Sometimes, the connection between the poem and its teachable moment is strong and clear, as in the titular poem about the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and in “The King’s Dream,” about the promise of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. In other instances, however, the connection is a stretch. Is the poem about girls’ love for shoes—which at least on the surface seems to propound a troubling stereotype—really about dictatorial governments, with Imelda Marcos as the fall guy? But even where some connections seem tenuous, the high-quality illustrations help connect the dots. In some cases, the author includes detailed explanations about the collaborative decision-making that informed the illustrations, demonstrating some serious thought behind the seemingly simple blending of word and image. In the end, this book is bright and engaging, easy to read and a pleasure to hold and look at—with the caveat that caregivers will either want to vet it ahead of time or be certain to enjoy it alongside the young readers in their care.

Both entertaining and thoughtful, this book is a good choice for families looking to foster a sense of social conscience.

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2014

ISBN: 978-0991036479

Page Count: 38

Publisher: Words In The Works LLC

Review Posted Online: Nov. 25, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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ABIYOYO RETURNS

The seemingly ageless Seeger brings back his renowned giant for another go in a tuneful tale that, like the art, is a bit sketchy, but chockful of worthy messages. Faced with yearly floods and droughts since they’ve cut down all their trees, the townsfolk decide to build a dam—but the project is stymied by a boulder that is too huge to move. Call on Abiyoyo, suggests the granddaughter of the man with the magic wand, then just “Zoop Zoop” him away again. But the rock that Abiyoyo obligingly flings aside smashes the wand. How to avoid Abiyoyo’s destruction now? Sing the monster to sleep, then make it a peaceful, tree-planting member of the community, of course. Seeger sums it up in a postscript: “every community must learn to manage its giants.” Hays, who illustrated the original (1986), creates colorful, if unfinished-looking, scenes featuring a notably multicultural human cast and a towering Cubist fantasy of a giant. The song, based on a Xhosa lullaby, still has that hard-to-resist sing-along potential, and the themes of waging peace, collective action, and the benefits of sound ecological practices are presented in ways that children will both appreciate and enjoy. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-83271-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2001

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A DOG NAMED SAM

A book that will make young dog-owners smile in recognition and confirm dogless readers' worst suspicions about the mayhem caused by pets, even winsome ones. Sam, who bears passing resemblance to an affable golden retriever, is praised for fetching the family newspaper, and goes on to fetch every other newspaper on the block. In the next story, only the children love Sam's swimming; he is yelled at by lifeguards and fishermen alike when he splashes through every watering hole he can find. Finally, there is woe to the entire family when Sam is bored and lonely for one long night. Boland has an essential message, captured in both both story and illustrations of this Easy-to-Read: Kids and dogs belong together, especially when it's a fun-loving canine like Sam. An appealing tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8037-1530-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1996

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