SHIN-CHI’S CANOE

Shi-shi-etko (of the 2006 eponymous title) is returning for a second year to one of the Indian residential schools that the Native children of Canada were once required to attend. This year, her six-year-old brother, Shin-chi, will accompany her. They are loaded into a cattle truck with many others (most of whom look to be adults), and Shin-chi is encouraged to take special note of the natural elements that must sustain his spirit until his summer return: fish, trees, mountains, waters. The children’s school days are full of regulation and restriction, but Shin-chi takes comfort in the river and in the palm-sized cedar canoe Shi-shi-etko has given him as a sort of talisman. LaFave’s digitally manipulated art has a film-like quality that softens his stylized, anonymous figures. Home and nature scenes are tinted blue and gold, but a palette of institutional colors is used for the school-set pages, where the children’s jackets—hers red, his blue—set them apart, Schindler’s List–like, from the dun masses. This gentle look at the residential school program concludes with the children’s reassuring return to their loving family. (Picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-88899-857-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Groundwood

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2008

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An inspirational look at one girl’s quest to make sure that all skin tones are visible and available in the classroom.

MORE THAN PEACH

A Black girl’s simple observation propels her into activism.

Woodard, who launched the More Than Peach Project—which arranges for classrooms and children in need to receive kits that include art supplies and boxes of multicultural crayons (crayons in a variety of skin tones)—relates the incident that sparked her journey. As the book begins, she is dropped off at school and notices that her family’s skin tone differs from that of her classmates. While it is clear that she is one of a few children of color at school, that difference isn’t really felt until her friends start asking for the “skin-color” crayon when they mean peach. She’s bothered that no one else seems to notice that skin comes in many colors, so she devises a unique way of bringing everyone’s attention to that fact. With support from her family and her school, she encourages her fellow classmates to rethink their language and starts an initiative to ensure that everyone’s skin tone is represented in each crayon box. Appealing, realistic artwork depicts Woodard’s experiences, while endpapers feature More Than Peach crayon boxes and childlike illustrations of kids of different ethnicities doing various activities. The story is stirring and will motivate budding activists. (This book was reviewed digitally; the review has been updated for factual accuracy.)

An inspirational look at one girl’s quest to make sure that all skin tones are visible and available in the classroom. (note from Woodard, information on Woodard’s journey into activism, instructions on starting a drive) (Picture-book biography. 6-10)

Pub Date: July 26, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-338-80927-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: April 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2022

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WILD, WILD WOLVES

At ``Step 2'' in the useful ``Step into Reading'' series: an admirably clear, well-balanced presentation that centers on wolves' habits and pack structure. Milton also addresses their endangered status, as well as their place in fantasy, folklore, and the popular imagination. Attractive realistic watercolors on almost every page. Top-notch: concise, but remarkably extensive in its coverage. A real bargain. (Nonfiction/Easy reader. 6-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-679-91052-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1992

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