The simplicity of the suggested idea that homemade fruit juice will always be fun to make and delicious to drink is...

READ REVIEW

ALICIA'S FRUITY DRINKS / LAS AGUAS FRESCAS DE ALICIA

The fruit-blended juice drinks known as aguas frescas offered at a fair inspire a little girl and her mother to serve their own version after soccer practice.

Alicia really likes the taste of these fruit drinks and learns from her mother that they can easily be made at home with a blender, fresh fruit, ice cubes and water. Mimicking the aguas frescas stand with all its flavors, they try out strawberries, cantaloupe, watermelon and pineapple. Alicia wonders if sugar should be added to the recipe, but mother says that the fruit itself provides enough sweetness and is much healthier than sodas. When a soccer teammate needs testing for diabetes, Alicia’s invitation to have the team over for her fruity drinks also encourages everyone to avoid drinking the canned soda by trying a delicious substitute. The dual English/Spanish text is augmented by summery scenes in opaque, rich colors. The not-so-subtle message that diabetes, sugar and lack of exercise can all be related adds a didactic, cautionary tone to the otherwise pleasant story of sisterhood through soccer.

The simplicity of the suggested idea that homemade fruit juice will always be fun to make and delicious to drink is appealing. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: May 31, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-55885-705-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Piñata Books/Arté Público

Review Posted Online: April 18, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2012

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Make space for this clever blend of science and self-realization.

A PLACE FOR PLUTO

If Pluto can’t be a planet—then what is he?

Having been a regular planet for “the better part of forever,” Pluto is understandably knocked out of orbit by his sudden exclusion. With Charon and his four other moons in tow he sets off in search of a new identity. Unfortunately, that only spins him into further gloom, as he doesn’t have a tail like his friend Halley’s comet, is too big to join Ida and the other asteroids, and feels disinclined to try to crash into Earth like meteoroids Gem and Persi. Then, just as he’s about to plunge into a black hole of despair, an encounter with a whole quartet of kindred spheroids led by Eris rocks his world…and a follow-up surprise party thrown by an apologetic Saturn (“Dwarf planet has a nice RING to it”) and the other seven former colleagues literally puts him “over the moon.” Demmer gives all the heavenly bodies big eyes (some, including the feminine Saturn, with long lashes) and, on occasion, short arms along with distinctive identifying colors or markings. Dressing the troublemaking meteoroids in do-rags and sunglasses sounds an off note. Without mentioning that the reclassification is still controversial, Wade closes with a (somewhat) straighter account of Pluto’s current official status and the reasons for it.

Make space for this clever blend of science and self-realization. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68446-004-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Capstone Young Readers

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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Perhaps this series fills a reading niche, but this underwhelming third book in the series should be its last

SHAI & EMMIE STAR IN TO THE RESCUE!

From the Shai & Emmie series

A book about rescuing in which no rescue happens.

Shai, an African-American girl, and her white “bestie-best friend,” Emmie, play in the school orchestra at Sweet Auburn School for the Performing Arts. One afternoon, Shai spots a brown-and-white critter in her family’s backyard garden and assumes it’s a stray cat. She draws a picture of it and creates posters to figure out which neighbor has lost the cat. When Shai lures the animal with food, she sees that it’s not a cat but a rabbit, but being a city kid, she doesn’t understand that it’s wild. After Shai and Emmie capture it in a pet carrier, Shai’s veterinarian mother explains that the rabbit should live wild in the city. Shai then finds a better pet solution, even though their household already has eight pets. Besides its child-star author and the portrayal of a positive cross-racial friendship, this novel has little to recommend it. The art may give readers a point of reference for some scenes, but it adds little to the story. Furthermore, though children might appreciate Shai’s made-up words and phrases (“hunormous,” “sleepifying,” “lickety-clean,” “amazetastic”), this book’s readers, who are likely new to chapter books, may find them difficult to decipher.

Perhaps this series fills a reading niche, but this underwhelming third book in the series should be its last . (Fiction. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 19, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4814-5888-7

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2018

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