Cold comfort to know we are the not the only environmentally destructive hooligans in the universe.

THE GALINOS

On distant planet Gala, many Galinos have a bad case of wastefulness. Sound familiar?

Like any planet worth its salt, Gala has a nice variety of kids: some with one eye, or two, or three, or two heads, or a head like a hand. Amavisca has created an everyday gang of ragamuffins who like to eat candy bars, play with computers, and make a mess. One day they unearth—maybe that’s ungala—an oracular computer by the name of Galalpha 8 (computers are alive on Gala). Galalpha foretells of Gala’s environmental ruination: their galamobiles (cars) spew pollution, as do their galactories, killing the galatrees and drying up the galakes. Tierki and Kurti take Galalpha 8’s dire warning to heart, although their friends don’t give a hoot. “Several years went by, but all seven friends still looked the same. (The secret is that Galinos stop growing when they reach seven years old!!)” Villamuza’s artwork also has a childlike quality, about in the 7-year-old range. The Galinos lose any distinctive appeal—there is little—when they turn out to be little but earthling clones in Halloween gear. They even like toilet jokes: “Every time she went to the bathroom to poo, she would clean her gala-butt with tons and tons of toilet paper.” Tierki and Kurti decide on a plan: they’ll put all their filthmongering friends on a spaceship and send them to the only other self-destructive planet in the universe: Earth. How subtle.

Cold comfort to know we are the not the only environmentally destructive hooligans in the universe. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 12, 2016

ISBN: 978-84-942360-5-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: nubeOCHO

Review Posted Online: Feb. 8, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2016

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A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre.

SNOW PLACE LIKE HOME

From the Diary of an Ice Princess series

Ice princess Lina must navigate family and school in this early chapter read.

The family picnic is today. This is not a typical gathering, since Lina’s maternal relatives are a royal family of Windtamers who have power over the weather and live in castles floating on clouds. Lina herself is mixed race, with black hair and a tan complexion like her Asian-presenting mother’s; her Groundling father appears to be a white human. While making a grand entrance at the castle of her grandfather, the North Wind, she fails to successfully ride a gust of wind and crashes in front of her entire family. This prompts her stern grandfather to ask that Lina move in with him so he can teach her to control her powers. Desperate to avoid this, Lina and her friend Claudia, who is black, get Lina accepted at the Hilltop Science and Arts Academy. Lina’s parents allow her to go as long as she does lessons with grandpa on Saturdays. However, fitting in at a Groundling school is rough, especially when your powers start freak winter storms! With the story unfurling in diary format, bright-pink–highlighted grayscale illustrations help move the plot along. There are slight gaps in the storytelling and the pacing is occasionally uneven, but Lina is full of spunk and promotes self-acceptance.

A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre. (Fantasy. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 25, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-35393-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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Whimsy, intelligence, and a subtle narrative thread make this rise to the top of a growing list of self-love titles.

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YOU MATTER

Employing a cast of diverse children reminiscent of that depicted in Another (2019), Robinson shows that every living entity has value.

After opening endpapers that depict an aerial view of a busy playground, the perspective shifts to a black child, ponytails tied with beaded elastics, peering into a microscope. So begins an exercise in perspective. From those bits of green life under the lens readers move to “Those who swim with the tide / and those who don’t.” They observe a “pest”—a mosquito biting a dinosaur, a “really gassy” planet, and a dog whose walker—a child in a pink hijab—has lost hold of the leash. Periodically, the examples are validated with the titular refrain. Textured paint strokes and collage elements contrast with uncluttered backgrounds that move from white to black to white. The black pages in the middle portion foreground scenes in space, including a black astronaut viewing Earth; the astronaut is holding an image of another black youngster who appears on the next spread flying a toy rocket and looking lonely. There are many such visual connections, creating emotional interest and invitations for conversation. The story’s conclusion spins full circle, repeating opening sentences with new scenarios. From the microscopic to the cosmic, word and image illuminate the message without a whiff of didacticism.

Whimsy, intelligence, and a subtle narrative thread make this rise to the top of a growing list of self-love titles. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-2169-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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