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 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2008


A charming, true story about the encounter between the boy who would become chancellor at the University of California at Riverside and a librarian in Iowa. Tom†s Rivera, child of migrant laborers, picks crops in Iowa in the summer and Texas in the winter, traveling from place to place in a worn old car. When he is not helping in the fields, Tom†s likes to hear Papa Grande's stories, which he knows by heart. Papa Grande sends him to the library downtown for new stories, but Tom†s finds the building intimidating. The librarian welcomes him, inviting him in for a cool drink of water and a book. Tom†s reads until the library closes, and leaves with books checked out on the librarian's own card. For the rest of the summer, he shares books and stories with his family, and teaches the librarian some Spanish. At the end of the season, there are big hugs and a gift exchange: sweet bread from Tom†s's mother and a shiny new book from the librarianto keep. Col¢n's dreamy illustrations capture the brief friendship and its life-altering effects in soft earth tones, using round sculptured shapes that often depict the boy right in the middle of whatever story realm he's entered. (Picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-679-80401-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1997


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 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1992

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