A pleasant ramble and—culturally at least—considerably more rewarding than poring over crowd scenes in search of Waldo.

READ REVIEW

ANNO'S DENMARK

For the first time with notes in English, a reissue of the Japanese illustrator’s 2004 travelogue and tribute to Hans Christian Andersen.

As in the better-known Anno’s Journey (1978), the pleasure of paging through these wordless, broad-perspective aerial spreads lies both in spotting the author—visible in every scene—and in recognizing amid the hustle and bustle of tiny (white, where faces are visible) figures the many references to familiar folktales…or, in this case, Andersen stories, most of which will be new to (non-Danish) children. Fortunately, along with identifying the towns and cities represented, the author’s notes at the end include titles and capsule summaries of the tales depicted in each scene. Farmhouses, city streets, and waterfronts are drawn as Andersen might have known them, with people getting around on horseback or in carriages. The little mermaid (or her carved effigy) appears repeatedly, but the ugly duckling, an emperor wearing only underwear, servants piling mattresses over a pea, a mechanical nightingale and a natural one are there for sharp-eyed viewers to pick out. Also to be seen, as rural settings, cities, and the Tivoli Gardens come and go, are pirates, a dinosaur skeleton, Hamlet talking to his father’s ghost, and other side business aplenty.

A pleasant ramble and—culturally at least—considerably more rewarding than poring over crowd scenes in search of Waldo. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-893103-75-7

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Beautiful Feet

Review Posted Online: July 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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This ambitious introduction to an important concept tries too hard to pigeonhole people, places, and things

NOUNS SAY "WHAT'S THAT?"

From the Word Adventures: Parts of Speech series

Anthropomorphized representations of a person, a place, and a thing introduce readers to nouns.

The protagonists are Person, a green, hairy, Cousin Itt–looking blob; Place, a round, blue, globe-ish being (stereotypically implied female by eyelashes and round pigtails); and Thing, a pink cloud with limbs, a porkpie hat, and red glasses. They first introduce the word “noun” and then start pointing out the nouns that fall under each of their categories. In their speech balloons, these vocabulary words are set in type that corresponds to the speaker’s color: “Each wheel is a thing noun,” says Thing, and “wheel” is set in red. Readers join the three as they visit a museum, pointing out the nouns they see along the way and introducing proper and collective nouns and ways to make nouns plural. Confusingly, though, Person labels the “bus driver” a “person noun” on one page, but two spreads later, Thing says “Abdar is a guard. Mrs. Mooney is a ticket taker. Their jobs are things that are also nouns.” Similarly, a group of athletes is a person noun—“team”—but “flock” and “pack” are things. Lowen’s digital illustrations portray a huge variety of people who display many skin and hair colors, differing abilities, and even religious and/or cultural markers (though no one is overweight). Backmatter includes a summary of noun facts, a glossary, an index (not seen), critical-thinking questions, and a list of further reading. Books on seven other parts of speech release simultaneously.

This ambitious introduction to an important concept tries too hard to pigeonhole people, places, and things . (Informational picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5158-4058-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Picture Window Books

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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Prospective younger visitors can do better than this bland mush.

MY FIRST BOOK OF NEW YORK

A scan of landmarks, neighborhoods, food, and other attractions in the Big Apple.

Perfunctory efforts to give this tour at least a pretense of geographic or thematic unity only add to its higgledy-piggledy character. Arrhenius (City, 2018, etc.) opens with a full-page view of the Brooklyn Bridge soaring over an otherwise-unidentifiable cityscape opposite a jumble of eight smaller images that are, for all that one is labeled “Brooklyn Academy of Music” and another “Coney Island,” are likewise so stylized as to look generic. From there, in the same one-topic-per-spread format, it’s on to Manhattan uptown and down for “Rockefeller Center,” “Shopping,” and other random bites. The “Harlem” spread features a fire hydrant, a mailbox, and the (actually distant) Cloisters museum, for instance, and a glance into “Queens” offers glimpses of the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, a “Greek restaurant,” a “Mexican restaurant,” and “marathon runners.” The large trim size and aesthetic mimic M. Sasek’s perennial This Is New York (1960, revised edition 2003) while adding much-needed updates with both more diverse arrays of dress and skin hues for the stylized human figures as well as the addition of sites such as the Stonewall Inn, the 9/11 memorial, and the Fearless Girl statue.

Prospective younger visitors can do better than this bland mush. (Informational picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0990-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Walker US/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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