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Perfect for one-on-one and small-group reading and guaranteed to provoke discussions around self-worth and social justice.

Celebrating the worth of every child and the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Spare free-verse text encourages each child to embrace their unique identity, but it also recognizes that they need and deserve the support of the community to reach their potential, in keeping with the UNCRC (selections from which appear in the backmatter). As the title says, each child is like a song. “Whatever melody a song sings, / each one is true and beautiful; / unique and special as your own.” A brown-skinned child with short, straight black hair skips down a road in an aerial view, a serene blue bird in the foreground. But in the next spread, a child stands alone, reaching for assistance as a throng of busy adults walks by, absorbed in their own business. While illustrations with sweeping splashes of rich color and minimal details don’t shy from depicting the chaos and danger for refugees in a small boat in a storm and the darkness of forced silence, hate, and war, the overarching tone is positive. A scene of a multiracial group of people striding (and rolling, for a child in a wheelchair) with purpose accompanies the hopeful text: “For together, we raise our voices / for the right of every song to sing out loud, bold and unafraid.” Front endpapers show a single flying bird while a flock of multicolored birds soars on the back endpapers. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-22-inch double-page spreads viewed at 48% of actual size.)

Perfect for one-on-one and small-group reading and guaranteed to provoke discussions around self-worth and social justice. (foreword) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-62371-872-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Crocodile/Interlink

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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From the Find Momo series , Vol. 7

A well-meaning but lackluster tribute.

Readers bid farewell to a beloved canine character.

Momo is—or was—an adorable and very photogenic border collie owned by author Knapp. The many readers who loved him in the previous half-dozen books are in for a shock with this one. “Momo had died” is the stark reality—and there are no photographs of him here. Instead, Momo has been replaced by a flat cartoonish pastiche with strange, staring round white eyes, inserted into some of Knapp’s photography (which remains appealing, insofar as it can be discerned under the mixed media). Previous books contained few or no words. Unfortunately, virtuosity behind a lens does not guarantee mastery of verse. The art here is accompanied by words that sometimes rhyme but never find a workable or predictable rhythm (“We’d fetch and we’d catch, / we’d run and we’d jump. Every day we found new / games to play”). It’s a pity, because the subject—a pet’s death—is an important one to address with children. Of course, Momo isn’t gone; he can still be found “everywhere” in memories. But alas, he can be found here only in the crude depictions of the darling dog so well known from the earlier books.

A well-meaning but lackluster tribute. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2024

ISBN: 9781683693864

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Quirk Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2023

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A sweet and endearing feathered migration.

A relationship between a Latina grandmother and her mixed-race granddaughter serves as the frame to depict the ruby-throated hummingbird migration pattern.

In Granny’s lap, a girl is encouraged to “keep still” as the intergenerational pair awaits the ruby-throated hummingbirds with bowls of water in their hands. But like the granddaughter, the tz’unun—“the word for hummingbird in several [Latin American] languages”—must soon fly north. Over the next several double-page spreads, readers follow the ruby-throated hummingbird’s migration pattern from Central America and Mexico through the United States all the way to Canada. Davies metaphorically reunites the granddaughter and grandmother when “a visitor from Granny’s garden” crosses paths with the girl in New York City. Ray provides delicately hashed lines in the illustrations that bring the hummingbirds’ erratic flight pattern to life as they travel north. The watercolor palette is injected with vibrancy by the addition of gold ink, mirroring the hummingbirds’ flashing feathers in the slants of light. The story is supplemented by notes on different pages with facts about the birds such as their nest size, diet, and flight schedule. In addition, a note about ruby-throated hummingbirds supplies readers with detailed information on how ornithologists study and keep track of these birds.

A sweet and endearing feathered migration. (bibliography, index) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0538-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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