An enticing and accessible introduction to the human body that should work as a read-aloud for classrooms introducing...

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You're Amazing! (Starring You)

Louie the Lumin and his two young friends explain some of the human body’s magnificent highlights in this Seussian rhyming book.

Green-furred Louie addresses the reader to explain the book’s purpose: “And although it’s wrapped up in some big fancy phrasing, / Its message, quite simply, is you are amazing!” In this volume by debut author Pichora with Dr. Seuss–homage illustrations from Motz (There’s A Fly On My Head, 2016, etc.), Louie introduces his friends Joanie, a pink-furred Lumin, and blue-furred Leo. The two youngsters help describe all the parts of the body that make it so astonishing, starting with the five senses. After that brief mention, they move on to an ode to feet (and some vivid facial expressions from the Who-like Lumins), legs, and hands, before peering inside the body. Joanie, Leo, and Louie take turns meeting each other’s organs—strangely animated characters that roughly look like body parts. Stomach dresses like a plumber and explains: “Sometimes it’s messy, and toxins get through, / But I try to get most of that out with your poo.” Liver is depicted as a chemist responsible for sorting out everything that’s good and bad in the digestive system and getting it to the right places. Heart, a fitness expert, describes the nonstop workout of the circulatory system before introducing the lungs, a pair of office workers who beg readers, “Please, please, please, please promise don’t ever smoke!” But what sets Lumins apart from other animals are their brains and the smarts that make it possible to build cities and “send robots to Mars” and other miraculous feats. The wonderful rhymes scan beautifully, making this a delight for reading aloud despite the densely packed text and “fancy phrasing” warned about in the introduction. Though the background images are sparse to accommodate the text, the colorful characters and settings accurately capture the whimsy of Dr. Seuss’ work without undermining the biology hidden in the charming rhymes. The captivating lessons include: “So for all of your talents, / I think that you’ll find, // That the best one of all / is your Brilliant mind!”

An enticing and accessible introduction to the human body that should work as a read-aloud for classrooms introducing biology and health tips or for strong independent readers who are fans of Dr. Seuss.

Pub Date: May 24, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4602-9105-4

Page Count: 44

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2016

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A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

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BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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LAST DAY BLUES

From the Mrs. Hartwell's Classroom Adventures series

One more myth dispelled for all the students who believe that their teachers live in their classrooms. During the last week of school, Mrs. Hartwell and her students reflect on the things they will miss, while also looking forward to the fun that summer will bring. The kids want to cheer up their teacher, whom they imagine will be crying over lesson plans and missing them all summer long. But what gift will cheer her up? Numerous ideas are rejected, until Eddie comes up with the perfect plan. They all cooperate to create a rhyming ode to the school year and their teacher. Love’s renderings of the children are realistic, portraying the diversity of modern-day classrooms, from dress and expression to gender and skin color. She perfectly captures the emotional trauma the students imagine their teachers will go through as they leave for the summer. Her final illustration hysterically shatters that myth, and will have every teacher cheering aloud. What a perfect end to the school year. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2006

ISBN: 1-58089-046-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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