This simple, informative photo essay realistically portrays children’s experiences of schooling around the world.

BACK TO SCHOOL

A GLOBAL JOURNEY

Across the globe, schools and the children that attend them are similar and different in so many ways.

Organized by simple statements regarding what, where, and how children study, the book offers photos featuring a wide range of children, from Indigenous children in Brazil to children of multiple races in the United States. Although the pictures and their clear, informative captions are grouped according to commonalities, they also accurately represent how class, culture, and faith influence everything from school uniforms to what it means to be a good citizen. The final pages contain longer, more detailed text that caregivers can use to supplement the facts that are already presented in the book. The book’s illustrations are carefully curated to represent a wide range of regions, faiths, and skin colors, all within an age range that seems to be middle elementary. Laudably, the children pictured in the photos span economic strata as well as geography: The book shows children of different class levels studying in the global south as well as more developed countries. It is refreshing to see images of students studying in a night school in India and a UNESCO–funded school in Rwanada juxtaposed with photographs of what appear to be private school students in India and South Africa. This edition updates a 2001 volume of the same name with a preponderance of new photos, a colorful design, lightly massaged text, and an expanded trim size.

This simple, informative photo essay realistically portrays children’s experiences of schooling around the world. (Informational picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: June 4, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-58089-837-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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Adults looking for an easy entry into this subject will not be disappointed.

CLIMATE CHANGE FOR BABIES

From the Baby University series

This book presents a simplified explanation of the role the atmosphere plays in controlling climate.

The authors present a planet as a ball and its atmosphere as a blanket that envelops the ball. If the blanket is thick, the planet will be hot, as is the case for Venus. If the blanket is thin, the planet is cold, as with Mars. Planet Earth has a blanket that traps “just the right amount of heat.” The authors explain trees, animals, and oceans are part of what makes Earth’s atmosphere “just right.” “But…Uh-oh! People on Earth are changing the blanket!” The book goes on to explain how some human activities are sending “greenhouse gases” into the atmosphere, thus “making the blanket heavier and thicker” and “making Earth feel unwell.” In the case of a planet feeling unwell, what would the symptoms be? Sea-level rises that lead to erosion, flooding, and island loss, along with extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, blizzards, and wildfires. Ending on a constructive note, the authors name a few of the remedies to “help our Earth before it’s too late!” By using the blanket analogy, alongside simple and clear illustrations, this otherwise complex topic becomes very accessible to young children, though caregivers will need to help with the specialized vocabulary.

Adults looking for an easy entry into this subject will not be disappointed. (Board book. 3-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4926-8082-6

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Sourcebooks eXplore

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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A poem about the pandemic with vivid illustrations and a strong environmental message.

AND THE PEOPLE STAYED HOME

During a period of quarantine, people discover new ways to live—and new lessons about how to care for the planet—in this debut picture book.

In this work’s poem, O’Meara describes lockdowns experienced by many across the world during the first days of the Covid-19 pandemic. Beginning with the title phrase, the author discusses quiet activities of solitude and togetherness as well as more boisterous ways of interacting. These times of being apart give people a new perspective, and when they reunite, “they grieved their losses, / and made new choices” to restore the planet. The spare verse allows the illustrations by Di Cristofaro and Pereda to take center stage. The colorful, slightly abstract cartoons depict a rainbow of people and pets, many of them living in apartments but some residing in larger, greener spaces. Images of nature healing show the author’s vision of hope for the future. While this was written in March and originally published as an online poem, the lack of an explicit mention of the reason behind the lockdowns (and the omission of the experiences of essential workers) could offer readers an opportunity to imagine a planetary healing beyond the pandemic that inspired the piece. The accessible prose and beautiful images make this a natural selection for young readers, but older ones may appreciate the work’s deeper meaning.

A poem about the pandemic with vivid illustrations and a strong environmental message.

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-73476-178-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tra Publishing

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2020

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