PA LIA'S FIRST DAY

A JACKSON FRIENDS STORY

A simple story about starting school and making friends. Pa Lia Vang’s treacherous first day at Jackson Magnet School begins badly; she not only has difficulty finding her classroom, but Matthew “Stinky” Stern, the “enemy of the second grade,” happens to be in her class. The teacher, Mrs. Fennessey, doesn’t appreciate Pa Lia’s giggling in class, while the humorous notes Pa Lia passes to Howardina and Calliope serve to get all three of them in trouble. In the end, it’s Pa Lia’s act of publicly owning up to her mistake and getting the others off the hook that secures new friendships and acceptance among her peers. Edwards’s winning black-and-white illustrations capture the feelings of desolation, fear, embarrassment, and joy associated with first days, while the prose, composed with emerging readers in mind, yields up events briskly and concisely. (Fiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-15-201974-X

Page Count: 50

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1999

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

THE COLORS OF US

This vibrant, thoughtful book from Katz (Over the Moon, 1997) continues her tribute to her adopted daughter, Lena, born in Guatemala. Lena is “seven. I am the color of cinnamon. Mom says she could eat me up”; she learns during a painting lesson that to get the color brown, she will have to “mix red, yellow, black, and white paints.” They go for a walk to observe the many shades of brown: they see Sonia, who is the color of creamy peanut butter; Isabella, who is chocolate brown; Lucy, both peachy and tan; Jo-Jin, the color of honey; Kyle, “like leaves in fall”; Mr. Pellegrino, the color of pizza crust, golden brown. Lena realizes that every shade is beautiful, then mixes her paints accordingly for portraits of her friends—“The colors of us!” Bold illustrations celebrate diversity with a child’s open-hearted sensibility and a mother’s love. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8050-5864-8

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1999

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS EXPLORES THE SENSES

The way-off-road vehicle (The Magic School Bus and the Electric Field, 1997, etc.) tours the ears, eyes, nose, and skin when the assistant principal, Mr. Wilde, accidentally shrinks the school bus and the children on board, commandeering it to deliver a message to Ms. Frizzle. The vehicle plunges into the eye of a police officer, where the students explore the pupil, the cornea, the retina, and the optic nerve leading to the brain. Then it’s on to other senses, via the ear of a small child, the nose of a dog, and the tongue of the Friz herself. Sidebars and captions add to the blizzard of information here; with a combination of plot, details, and jokes, the trip is anything but dull. The facts will certainly entice readers to learn more about the ways living creatures perceive the world. (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-590-44697-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1999

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more