A necessary purchase for those interested in educating global citizens.

READ REVIEW

THIS IS MY WORLD

A thoroughly contemporary look at the world’s children.

Children from 73 countries, some rarely represented in children’s books, including Malawi, Kosovo, Barbados, and Papua New Guinea, talk about their lives. Each double-page spread is devoted to one child and is jammed with photos of different sizes, a small flag, and a globe pointing out the country where they live. There is an emphasis on different types of families: Yared’s single-mom family in Ethiopia, Jack’s single-dad family in Fiji, Jenisha’s extended-family unit in Nepal, and many blended families with stepparents and half siblings. Diversity exists within families with parents from different cultures. In New Zealand, Anneke’s parents are Samoan/Tokolauan and British/Japanese. Same-sex parents are not in evidence, however. More parents than usual work in tourism, as guidebook publisher Lonely Planet used its contacts to recruit participating families, but there are urban and rural families, and at least one lives in a refugee camp. The children describe the commonalities of their lives: food, school, games, families. Technology shows up everywhere. Lluvia, age 12, from Costa Rica says: “My friends are silly and fun. We love to hang out, play on our cell phones, and take silly selfies.” Photos are appealing and layouts are varied, with short paragraphs and funny headlines. Entries are arranged alphabetically by children’s names, with a world-map key in the front.

A necessary purchase for those interested in educating global citizens. (quiz, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-78701-294-3

Page Count: 164

Publisher: Lonely Planet

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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A rich source of terrors both real and manufactured, equally effective in broad daylight or beneath the bedcovers.

DON'T READ THIS BOOK BEFORE BED

THRILLS, CHILLS, AND HAUNTINGLY TRUE STORIES

A compendium of paranormal doings, natural horrors, and eerie wonders worldwide and (in several senses) beyond.

Maladroit title aside (“…in Bed” would make more sense, cautionwise), this collection of hauntings, cryptids, natural and historical mysteries, and general titillation (“Vampire bats might be coming for you!”) offers a broad array of reasons to stay wide awake. Arranged in no discernible order the 60-plus entries include ghostly sightings in the White House and various castles, body-burrowing guinea worms, the Nazca lines of Peru, Mothman and Nessie, the hastily abandoned city of Pripyat (which, thanks to the Chernobyl disaster, may be habitable again…in 24,000 years), monarch-butterfly migrations, and diverse rains of fish, frogs, fireballs, and unidentified slime. Each is presented in a busy whirl of narrative blocks, photos, graphics, side comments, and arbitrary “Fright-O-Meter” ratings (Paris’ “Creepy Catacombs” earn just a “4” out of 10 and black holes a “3,” but the aforementioned aerial amphibians a full “10”). The headers tend toward the lurid: “Jelly From Space,” “Zombie Ants,” “Mongolian Death Worm.” Claybourne sprinkles multiple-choice pop quizzes throughout for changes of pace.

A rich source of terrors both real and manufactured, equally effective in broad daylight or beneath the bedcovers. (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4263-2841-1

Page Count: 144

Publisher: National Geographic

Review Posted Online: May 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

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THE ARABIAN NIGHTS

In a large, handsome format, Tarnowska offers six tales plus an abbreviated version of the frame story, retold in formal but contemporary language and sandwiched between a note on the Nights’ place in her childhood in Lebanon and a page of glossary and source notes. Rather than preserve the traditional embedded structure and cliffhanger cutoffs, she keeps each story discrete and tones down the sex and violence. This structure begs the question of why Shahriyar lets Shahrazade [sic] live if she tells each evening’s tale complete, but it serves to simplify the reading for those who want just one tale at a time. Only the opener, “Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp,” is likely to be familiar to young readers; in others a prince learns to control a flying “Ebony Horse” by “twiddling” its ears, contending djinn argue whether “Prince Kamar el Zaman [or] Princess Boudour” is the more beautiful (the prince wins) and in a Cinderella tale a “Diamond Anklet” subs for the glass slipper. Hénaff’s stylized scenes of domed cityscapes and turbaned figures add properly whimsical visual notes to this short but animated gathering. (Folktales. 10-12)

 

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-84686-122-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Barefoot

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2010

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