A playful but incomplete introduction to the cultural geography of far-flung locations.

READ REVIEW

EVERYTHING & EVERYWHERE

A FACT-FILLED ADVENTURE FOR CURIOUS GLOBE-TROTTERS

A swarm of facts and images about 15 locations spaced all around the globe.

These thronging pages are as busy as a Waldo experience, except the point here is variety. Each location gets a two-page spread highlighting a dozen features that give it character, color, and even whimsy. The locations range from New York to Ulaanbaatar, Alice Springs to Cape Town, Moscow to the Galápagos. Martin’s selection of distinctive features is sure-handed: the doorkeepers of Cairo, the colorful rooftops of Reykjavik, the cheeses and cafes of Paris, the botecos in Rio de Janeiro, the salarymen and ramen noodles of Tokyo. The top-shelf watercolors capture the essence of the thing being described, whether it be Moscow’s stray dogs or New York’s manhole covers (caught in a moody drizzle). Sometimes the short explanations under the name of the object are jokey (“Coffee: Pronounced KAW-fee”), and sometimes they are chock full of information: New Delhi has the “world’s largest fleet of environmentally friendly gas-powered buses”; Arctic terns “travel 44,000 miles every year, the longest migration route of any animal”; and Tokyo’s Shibuya Crossing is the busiest in the world, with 100,000 pedestrians per hour. What’s covered is covered well, if glancingly; however, it’s a shame there’s no city from Africa’s beltline (where are Lagos, Nairobi, Kinshasa?), and Rio is the only South American metropolis highlighted.

A playful but incomplete introduction to the cultural geography of far-flung locations. (Informational picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 9, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4521-6514-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Sept. 2, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

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This ambitious introduction to an important concept tries too hard to pigeonhole people, places, and things

NOUNS SAY "WHAT'S THAT?"

From the Word Adventures: Parts of Speech series

Anthropomorphized representations of a person, a place, and a thing introduce readers to nouns.

The protagonists are Person, a green, hairy, Cousin Itt–looking blob; Place, a round, blue, globe-ish being (stereotypically implied female by eyelashes and round pigtails); and Thing, a pink cloud with limbs, a porkpie hat, and red glasses. They first introduce the word “noun” and then start pointing out the nouns that fall under each of their categories. In their speech balloons, these vocabulary words are set in type that corresponds to the speaker’s color: “Each wheel is a thing noun,” says Thing, and “wheel” is set in red. Readers join the three as they visit a museum, pointing out the nouns they see along the way and introducing proper and collective nouns and ways to make nouns plural. Confusingly, though, Person labels the “bus driver” a “person noun” on one page, but two spreads later, Thing says “Abdar is a guard. Mrs. Mooney is a ticket taker. Their jobs are things that are also nouns.” Similarly, a group of athletes is a person noun—“team”—but “flock” and “pack” are things. Lowen’s digital illustrations portray a huge variety of people who display many skin and hair colors, differing abilities, and even religious and/or cultural markers (though no one is overweight). Backmatter includes a summary of noun facts, a glossary, an index (not seen), critical-thinking questions, and a list of further reading. Books on seven other parts of speech release simultaneously.

This ambitious introduction to an important concept tries too hard to pigeonhole people, places, and things . (Informational picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5158-4058-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Picture Window Books

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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Prospective younger visitors can do better than this bland mush.

MY FIRST BOOK OF NEW YORK

A scan of landmarks, neighborhoods, food, and other attractions in the Big Apple.

Perfunctory efforts to give this tour at least a pretense of geographic or thematic unity only add to its higgledy-piggledy character. Arrhenius (City, 2018, etc.) opens with a full-page view of the Brooklyn Bridge soaring over an otherwise-unidentifiable cityscape opposite a jumble of eight smaller images that are, for all that one is labeled “Brooklyn Academy of Music” and another “Coney Island,” are likewise so stylized as to look generic. From there, in the same one-topic-per-spread format, it’s on to Manhattan uptown and down for “Rockefeller Center,” “Shopping,” and other random bites. The “Harlem” spread features a fire hydrant, a mailbox, and the (actually distant) Cloisters museum, for instance, and a glance into “Queens” offers glimpses of the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, a “Greek restaurant,” a “Mexican restaurant,” and “marathon runners.” The large trim size and aesthetic mimic M. Sasek’s perennial This Is New York (1960, revised edition 2003) while adding much-needed updates with both more diverse arrays of dress and skin hues for the stylized human figures as well as the addition of sites such as the Stonewall Inn, the 9/11 memorial, and the Fearless Girl statue.

Prospective younger visitors can do better than this bland mush. (Informational picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0990-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Walker US/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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