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Chicken sexer? Breath odor evaluator? Cryptozoologist? Island caretaker? The choices dazzle! (Informational picture book....

From funeral clown to cheese sculptor, a tally of atypical trades.

This free-wheeling survey, framed as a visit to “The Great Hall of Jobs,” is designed to shake readers loose from simplistic notions of the world of work. Labarre opens with a generic sculpture gallery of, as she puts it, “The Classics”—doctor, dancer, farmer, athlete, chef, and the like—but quickly moves on, arranging busy cartoon figures by the dozen in kaleidoscopic arrays, with pithy captions describing each occupation. As changes of pace she also tucks in occasional challenges to match select workers (Las Vegas wedding minister, “ethical” hacker, motion-capture actor) with their distinctive tools or outfits. The actual chances of becoming, say, the queen’s warden of the swans or a professional mattress jumper, not to mention the nitty-gritty of physical or academic qualifications, income levels, and career paths, are left largely unspecified…but along with noting that new jobs are being invented all the time (as, in the illustration, museum workers wheel in a “vlogger” statue), the author closes with the perennial insight that it’s essential to love what you do and the millennial one that there’s nothing wrong with repeatedly switching horses midstream. The many adult figures and the gaggle of children (one in a wheelchair) visiting the “Hall” are diverse of feature, sex, and skin color.

Chicken sexer? Breath odor evaluator? Cryptozoologist? Island caretaker? The choices dazzle! (Informational picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: April 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5362-1219-8

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Nosy Crow

Review Posted Online: Nov. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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Two-digit subtraction is the subject of this MathStart picture book, which beats its one-note song slowly and relentlessly. Murphy builds this story, the latest in his series of math fundamentals, around a group of young shark swimmers who have a chance to attend swim camp if they can complete 75 laps among themselves over a week’s time. The coach has set up an easel by the pool, tallying their laps and then subtracting them from the running total on the easel. And that, quite simply, is how far Murphy takes the narrative, if such flimsy material can be called a story. There is nothing here to entice any child who is anxious, uninterested, or confused about math to get involved with either the subtraction or the story angle of the book. Murphy might just as well have presented a handful of subtraction problems on each page and forgotten all about the vapid story line, because the only kids who will find interest in these pages are those who really love mathematics, and there isn’t enough here for them to chew on to any satisfaction. (Picture book. 7-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 2001

ISBN: 0-06-028030-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2000

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A well-crafted, straightforward collection of the myths everyone needs to know.

The fabled world of ancient Greece comes alive through these 10 myths that feature some of the most powerful gods, fearless heroes and amazing animals in literature.

“The Creation” introduces Titans Kronos and Rhea, who spawned the twelve Olympians, led by Zeus, god of the sky, and the collection plunges along from there. Clayton’s deft storytelling transitions readers easily from story to story, grounding them in a setting of mountainous islands dominated by the hot sun and cool blue sea. Readers meet Pandora, created at Zeus’ behest as a tragically curious beauty bearing gifts for the giant Epimetheus. The competition for the city of Athens between Athena, goddess of wisdom, and Poseidon, god of the sea, is seen as a struggle decided by a democratic vote. The grotesqueness of Medusa is countered by the human bravery of Perseus; the remorse of King Midas redeems him from his greed. The enchanting flying horse, Pegasus, aids Bellerophon in his conquest of the three-headed, fire-breathing chimera. Arachne’s transformation following her challenge of Athena brings the collection to a close. Each adventure or quest is followed by a very brief fact about Greece. Detailed and luminous, often diminutive watercolors and collage art illuminate each story’s theme.

A well-crafted, straightforward collection of the myths everyone needs to know. (map, notes, index of gods and heroes, sources) (Mythology. 7-9)

Pub Date: July 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-84780-227-9

Page Count: 78

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2013

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