A captivating journey.

READ REVIEW

THIS IS MY EYE

A fictional exploration of how a young girl of color might move through and capture her world with a camera.

“My dad says it’s not what you look at—it’s what you see.” So begins a young girl’s documenting of her life and surroundings in New York City. The blurred lights and background when she spins, the mirrors in puddles, the stories on walls, the shapes and patterns of everything, the “little things that grow in little spaces,” and even the smile of an upside-down selfie. The city’s sweeping landscapes juxtaposed with its small, pulsating minutiae pick up an easy momentum as the poetic text moves rhythmically from page to page. The energy and pace of the city is channeled to the impact of each photograph as they are strung together by the observational text. An author’s note clarifies that the photographs are Vaswani’s (Same Sun Here, with Silas House, 2013, etc.) work, taken to mimic the perspective of a fictional 9-year-old girl. While readers may be prompted to wonder how a photo series taken by an actual child photographer might have differed, Vaswani’s debut picture book is an elegant and playful look at perspective, photography, and a familiar (to many) cityscape.

A captivating journey. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 14, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7616-2

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • New York Times Bestseller

BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

RAIN SCHOOL

It takes a village to make a school. In Chad, big brothers and sisters lead the way for younger children on the first day of school. Little Thomas is full of questions. When he and the other children arrive, there are no classrooms and no desks. But the teacher's there, holding a trowel. "We will build our school," she declares. Everyone sets to work, making mud bricks that dry in the sun and a roof out of grass and saplings. Thomas loves his lessons; every day he learns something new. At the end of the school year, the minds of the students "are fat with knowledge." And just in time: The rainy season arrives and makes short work of the schoolhouse. Come September, they'll start all over. Rumford's illustrations make great use of color, dark brown skin and bright shirts, shorts and dresses against golden backgrounds, the hues applied in smudgy layers that infuse each scene with warmth—until the gray rains arrive. It's a nifty social-studies lesson tucked into a warm tale of community. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-547-24307-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 1, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more