The simple is juxtaposed with the challenging, making the book both flexible and hard to pin down, audience-wise.

READ REVIEW

SORTING THROUGH SPRING

From the Math in Nature series

Flatt and Barron’s second in the Math in Nature series solves many of the first’s problems, though the rhythms and rhymes remain inconsistent, and there is still no answer key.

Flatt leads readers through sorting, charts and comparisons, though they will need familiarity with these concepts—math is tested but not taught in these pages, and the questions are not always the most basic. “If 8 hummingbird eggs equal 4 robin eggs, which two ratios are correct: 3 to 1, 8 to 4, 5 to 1, 2 to 1?”  On a page that finds the fox family wondering what Father will catch: “Is their dinner impossibly, unlikely, likely, or certainly a vole? A gray squirrel? A rabbit? A cat?” Several pages also ask open-ended questions, allowing readers to both construct meaning from the artwork and explain it. “Nature Notes” give a few brief facts about the featured creatures. As in Counting on Fall (2012), Barron’s gorgeous cut-paper collages are certainly the highlight, drenching every page in spring sights and colors. Objects are easy to delineate from the background, though that doesn’t always mean that the answers are easy to find: On the schooling smelt page, readers are asked to find two patterns. One is a simple, ABA repeating pattern, while the other asks readers to notice that the groups of fish increase by two.

The simple is juxtaposed with the challenging, making the book both flexible and hard to pin down, audience-wise. (Math picture book. 5-10)

Pub Date: March 12, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-926973-59-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Owlkids Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Embedded in this heartwarming story of doing the right thing is a deft examination of the pressures of income inequality on...

A BIKE LIKE SERGIO'S

Continuing from their acclaimed Those Shoes (2007), Boelts and Jones entwine conversations on money, motives, and morality.

This second collaboration between author and illustrator is set within an urban multicultural streetscape, where brown-skinned protagonist Ruben wishes for a bike like his friend Sergio’s. He wishes, but Ruben knows too well the pressure his family feels to prioritize the essentials. While Sergio buys a pack of football cards from Sonny’s Grocery, Ruben must buy the bread his mom wants. A familiar lady drops what Ruben believes to be a $1 bill, but picking it up, to his shock, he discovers $100! Is this Ruben’s chance to get himself the bike of his dreams? In a fateful twist, Ruben loses track of the C-note and is sent into a panic. After finally finding it nestled deep in a backpack pocket, he comes to a sense of moral clarity: “I remember how it was for me when that money that was hers—then mine—was gone.” When he returns the bill to her, the lady offers Ruben her blessing, leaving him with double-dipped emotions, “happy and mixed up, full and empty.” Readers will be pleased that there’s no reward for Ruben’s choice of integrity beyond the priceless love and warmth of a family’s care and pride.

Embedded in this heartwarming story of doing the right thing is a deft examination of the pressures of income inequality on children. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 4, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6649-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Sweet—and savory.

THE KEEPER OF WILD WORDS

When a girl visits her grandmother, a writer and “grand friend,” she is seeking something special to share at show and tell on the first day of school.

Before Brook can explain, Mimi expresses concern that certain words describing the natural world will disappear if someone doesn’t care for and use them. (An author’s note explains the author’s motivation: She had read of the removal of 100 words about outdoor phenomena from the Oxford Junior Dictionary.) The duo sets out to search for and experience the 19 words on Mimi’s list, from “acorn” and “buttercup” to “violet” and “willow.” Kloepper’s soft illustrations feature green and brown earth tones that frame the white, matte pages; bursts of red, purple, and other spot colors enliven the scenes. Both Mimi and Brook are depicted as white. The expedition is described in vivid language, organized as free verse in single sentences or short paragraphs. Key words are printed in color in a larger display type and capital letters. Sensory details allow the protagonist to hear, see, smell, taste, and hold the wild: “ ‘Quick! Make a wish!’ said Mimi, / holding out a DANDELION, / fairy dust sitting on a stem. / ‘Blow on it and the seeds will fly. / Your tiny wishes in the air.’ ” It’s a day of wonder, with a touch of danger and a solution to Brook’s quest. The last page forms an envelope for readers’ own vocabulary collections.

Sweet—and savory. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4521-7073-2

Page Count: 62

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more