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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JOHNNY APPLESEED

Though she never says outright that he was a real person, Kurtz introduces newly emergent readers to the historical John Chapman, walking along the Ohio, planting apple seeds, and bartering seedlings to settlers for food and clothing. Haverfield supplies the legendary portions of his tale, with views of a smiling, stylishly ragged, clean-shaven young man, pot on head, wildlife on shoulder or trailing along behind. Kurtz caps her short, rhythmic text with an invitation to “Clap your hands for Johnny Chapman. / Clap your hands for Johnny Appleseed!” An appealing way to open discussions of our country’s historical or legendary past. (Easy reader/nonfiction. 5-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-689-85958-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2004

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Cool and stylish.

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ADA TWIST, SCIENTIST

Her intellectual curiosity is surpassed only by her passion for science. But what to do about her messy experiments?

Ada is speechless until she turns 3. But once she learns how to break out of her crib, there’s no stopping the kinky-haired, brown-skinned girl. “She tore through the house on a fact-finding spree.” When she does start speaking, her favorite words are “why,” “how,” and “when.” Her parents, a fashion-forward black couple who sport a variety of trendy outfits, are dumbfounded, and her older brother can only point at her in astonishment. She amazes her friends with her experiments. Ada examines all the clocks in the house, studies the solar system, and analyzes all the smells she encounters. Fortunately, her parents stop her from putting the cat in the dryer, sending her instead to the Thinking Chair. But while there, she covers the wall with formulae. What can her parents do? Instead of punishing her passion, they decide to try to understand it. “It’s all in the heart of a young scientist.” Though her plot is negligible—Ada’s parents arguably change more than she does—Beaty delightfully advocates for girls in science in her now-trademark crisply rhyming text. Roberts’ illustrations, in watercolor, pen, and ink, manage to be both smart and silly; the page compositions artfully evoke the tumult of Ada’s curiosity, filling white backgrounds with questions and clutter.

Cool and stylish. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2137-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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