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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ABIYOYO RETURNS

The seemingly ageless Seeger brings back his renowned giant for another go in a tuneful tale that, like the art, is a bit sketchy, but chockful of worthy messages. Faced with yearly floods and droughts since they’ve cut down all their trees, the townsfolk decide to build a dam—but the project is stymied by a boulder that is too huge to move. Call on Abiyoyo, suggests the granddaughter of the man with the magic wand, then just “Zoop Zoop” him away again. But the rock that Abiyoyo obligingly flings aside smashes the wand. How to avoid Abiyoyo’s destruction now? Sing the monster to sleep, then make it a peaceful, tree-planting member of the community, of course. Seeger sums it up in a postscript: “every community must learn to manage its giants.” Hays, who illustrated the original (1986), creates colorful, if unfinished-looking, scenes featuring a notably multicultural human cast and a towering Cubist fantasy of a giant. The song, based on a Xhosa lullaby, still has that hard-to-resist sing-along potential, and the themes of waging peace, collective action, and the benefits of sound ecological practices are presented in ways that children will both appreciate and enjoy. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-83271-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2001

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MORNING GIRL

Like the quiet lap of waves on the sand, the alternating introspections of two Bahamian island children in 1492. Morning Girl and her brother Star Boy are very different: she loves the hush of pre-dawn while he revels in night skies, noise, wind. In many ways they are antagonists, each too young and subjective to understand the other's perspective—in contrast to their mother's appreciation for her brother. In the course of these taut chapters concerning such pivotal events as their mother's losing a child, the arrival of a hurricane, or Star Boy's earning the right to his adult name, they grow closer. In the last, Morning Girl greets— with cordial innocence—a boat full of visitors, unaware that her beautifully balanced and textured life is about to be catalogued as ``very poor in everything,'' her island conquered by Europeans. This paradise is so intensely and believably imagined that the epilogue, quoted from Columbus's diary, sickens with its ominous significance. Subtly, Dorris draws parallels between the timeless chafings of sibs set on changing each other's temperaments and the intrusions of states questing new territory. Saddening, compelling—a novel to be cherished for its compassion and humanity. (Fiction. 8+)

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 1992

ISBN: 1-56282-284-5

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1992

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