I AM THE WIND

A gorgeous, breathtaking experience.

The wind travels the world meeting creatures in their habitats on five continents.

This powerful, omniscient force narrates its own adventures. First felt whisking up leaves and turning umbrellas inside out on an autumn day in a city, the wind quickly moves on to fly with a barred owl through “frost and fog” before continuing northward to frolic with a wolverine in high, snowy mountain peaks, then racing with wolves as they chase their prey. Across day and night, mountains and valleys, the wind sleeps with musk ox and blows beneath northern lights with reindeer. In each place wind has an effect on the wildlife it meets: “whistling” across a snow leopard’s ledge in the highlands, delighting chimps in a storm in Congo, helping migratory geese on their journey, boosting petrels as they fly above the sea, flitting high in the clouds with an olinguito, or stirring up puddles in the bayou to startle gopher frogs. Karg gives voice to the wind in lovely, poetic language and syntax, following each encounter with the bold, assertive title statement, “I AM THE WIND.” Each creature, whether familiar or obscure, and each location is seen in a double-page spread with beautiful, light-filled, mesmerizing illustrations that are at once accurate and ethereal. A map showing the locations of all the animals represented and a bit of further information about them concludes the work and brings readers back to Earth after this incredible journey.

A gorgeous, breathtaking experience. (Picture book. 4-10)

Pub Date: Nov. 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-62414-922-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Page Street

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2020

CLAYMATES

The dynamic interaction between the characters invites readers to take risks, push boundaries, and have a little unscripted...

Reinvention is the name of the game for two blobs of clay.

A blue-eyed gray blob and a brown-eyed brown blob sit side by side, unsure as to what’s going to happen next. The gray anticipates an adventure, while the brown appears apprehensive. A pair of hands descends, and soon, amid a flurry of squishing and prodding and poking and sculpting, a handsome gray wolf and a stately brown owl emerge. The hands disappear, leaving the friends to their own devices. The owl is pleased, but the wolf convinces it that the best is yet to come. An ear pulled here and an extra eye placed there, and before you can shake a carving stick, a spurt of frenetic self-exploration—expressed as a tangled black scribble—reveals a succession of smug hybrid beasts. After all, the opportunity to become a “pig-e-phant” doesn’t come around every day. But the sound of approaching footsteps panics the pair of Picassos. How are they going to “fix [them]selves” on time? Soon a hippopotamus and peacock are staring bug-eyed at a returning pair of astonished hands. The creative naiveté of the “clay mates” is perfectly captured by Petty’s feisty, spot-on dialogue: “This was your idea…and it was a BAD one.” Eldridge’s endearing sculpted images are photographed against the stark white background of an artist’s work table to great effect.

The dynamic interaction between the characters invites readers to take risks, push boundaries, and have a little unscripted fun of their own . (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 20, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-316-30311-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

BIG FEELINGS

The story’s slight but allows kids to practice identifying and dealing with their own big feelings.

Penfold and Kaufman team up again to show children how to navigate overwhelming feelings.

The diverse group of kids from All Are Welcome (2018) this time gathers in a vacant lot with tools in hand to clear the debris and make something new. But therein lies the rub: What should the something new be? While the exact nature of the disagreement is unfortunately not made clear to readers, the big feelings that the children exhibit are very clear (and for readers who need practice reading facial clues, there’s a labeled chart of 15 in the frontmatter). This book’s refrain is “How can I help? / What can we do?” And the answers, spread over several pages and not spelled out in so many words but rather shown in the illustrations, are: talk it through, compromise, and see things from another perspective. As a guide for dealing with feelings and problem-solving, the book is a bit slim and lacks a solid story to hook readers. But, as with its predecessor, its strength is again the diversity on display in its pages. There’s a rainbow of skin tones and hair colors as well as abundant variation in hair texture, several children exhibit visible disabilities, including one child who uses a wheelchair, and there are markers of religious and cultural diversity. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at 29.6% of actual size.)

The story’s slight but allows kids to practice identifying and dealing with their own big feelings. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-525-57974-8

Page Count: 42

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Dec. 24, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

Close Quickview