WHEN THE MOON IS FULL

A LUNAR YEAR

The rhymed text doesn’t match the power of Caldecott-winner Azarian’s hand-colored woodcuts in this journey through the seasons. Each of Pollock’s verses describes the scene: January is Wolf Moon, April is Frog Moon, December is Long Night Moon, and so on. Each verse is followed by a short sentence expanding on the poem’s description, and that sometimes is absurdly self-evident: for May, the Flower Moon, “Many flowers bloom in May.” The verses tend to thud and clunk along, and the author, a Wyandotte Indian descendant, refers consistently to Native Americans in her text as if they were a homogenous group. Question-and-answer pages at the end answer such questions as, “What is a blue moon?” Azarian’s images are beautifully rendered, with an underlying strength to the patterns of flower, cornstalk, ripple, and leaf. A more engaging verbal treatment of this theme is Michael McCurdy’s An Algonquian Year (2000); one would hate to choose between McCurdy’s illustrations and Azarian’s. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-316-71317-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2001

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Informative, empowering, and fun.

ROX'S SECRET CODE

Girl power abounds in this book about coding that introduces young readers to the world of programming while offering them hands-on activities via a companion app.

In this title that was first introduced as a customizable, personalized print-on-demand product, Rox has a superpower. Using code, she programs toy robots that can do things like make broccoli disappear—or mischief. When Dad tells Rox to clean her room, she quickly thinks up a bot that will do it for her, writing code that instructs her bot to use artificial intelligence to sort objects by color and type. Though Rox knows that there’s a high potential for her creation to rebel, the perks outweigh any potential adverse effects. Rox’s robot has her room neat and tidy in no time—and then the entire home. Chorebot’s AI allows it to keep learning, and it seems Chorebot can do no wrong until the robot decides to rearrange the entire city (both buildings and people) by type, style, and gender. Chorebot goes “out of his artificial mind!” Rox must now stop her creation…without the assistance of the internet. The artwork, styled in the tradition of popular superhero series, is peppy and colorful, and it depicts Rox as an adorable black girl donning a black bomber jacket and a pink tutu. A companion app (not available for review) allows readers to create a bot of their own.

Informative, empowering, and fun. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-57687-899-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: POW!

Review Posted Online: Sept. 2, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

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WATER

``Water is dew. Water is ice and snow.'' No matter what form it takes, seldom has plain old water appeared so colorful as in this rainbow-hued look at rain, dew, snowflakes, clouds, rivers, floods, and seas. Asch celebrates water's many forms with a succinct text and lush paintings done in mostly in softly muted watercolors of aqua, green, rose, blue, and yellow. They look as if they were created with a wet-on-wet technique that makes every hue lightly bleed into its neighbor. Water appears as ribbons of color, one sliding into the other, while objects that are not (in readers' minds) specifically water-like—trees, rocks, roots—are similarly colored. Perhaps the author intends to show water is everything and everything is water, but the concept is not fully realized for this age group. The whole is charming, but more successful as art than science. Though catalogued as nonfiction, this title will be better off in the picture book section. (Picture book/nonfiction. 5-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-15-200189-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1995

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