DOWN TO THE SEA IN SHIPS

Paying tribute to boats and ships—and all who have taken them out onto wide blue waters—Sturges pairs a series of lyric verses to Laroche’s carefully detailed, painted-paper collages. From a frail looking birch canoe to an immense modern cruise ship (the latter seen in engrossing cutaway), from a Viking Drakar rowed by a bearded, singing crew to the Savannah, first steam-powered ship to cross the Atlantic and return, the vessels present an arresting array of forms and sizes. But this is more than a simple sail-and-steam gallery; Sturges also commemorates whalers and cod fishermen (and the cod themselves), Magellan, who “sailed on to misfortune and fame,” busy Puget Sound, blind boatbuilder John Herreshoff and the profound rewards of drifting silently: “Be still. / Ignore the distant sounds of Man and thunder. / Look deep into the sea. / Be filled with wonder.” A poetic companion for the likes of Patrick O’Brien’s The Great Ships (2001). (Poetry. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-399-23464-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2005

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An emotional and powerful story with soaring poetry.

LAND OF THE CRANES

A fourth grader navigates the complicated world of immigration.

Betita Quintero loves the stories her father tells about the Aztlán (the titular land of cranes), how their people emigrated south but were fabled to return. Betita also loves to write. She considers words like “intonation,” “alchemy,” and “freedom” to be almost magic, using those and other words to create picture poems to paint her feelings, just like her fourth grade teacher, Ms. Martinez, taught her. But there are also words that are scary, like “cartel,” a word that holds the reason why her family had to emigrate from México to the United States. Even though Betita and her parents live in California, a “sanctuary state,” the seemingly constant raids and deportations are getting to be more frequent under the current (unnamed) administration. Thinking her family is safe because they have a “petition…to fly free,” Betita is devastated when her dad is taken away by ICE. Without their father, the lives of the Quinteros, already full of fear and uncertainty, are further derailed when they make the small mistake of missing a highway exit. Salazar’s verse novel presents contemporary issues such as “zero tolerance” policies, internalized racism, and mass deportations through Betita’s innocent and hopeful eyes, making the complex topics easy to understand through passionate, lyrical verses.

An emotional and powerful story with soaring poetry. (Verse fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-34380-9

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 17, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2020

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FIVE TRUCKS

Floca (The Frightful Story of Harry Walfish, 1997, etc.) offers a great explication of the small trucks that airline passengers see scurrying around jets on the runways. In brightly painted illustrations and simple descriptions, he introduces each vehicle, explains what it does, and shows it in action, e.g., the truck called the baggage conveyor is shown hoisting suitcases into the belly of the plane. All five trucks’ duties point to a big finale when the plane takes off. Given preschoolers’ well-documented fascination with heavy machinery, this book will strike a chord with young air travelers, and answer the questions of older travelers as well. (Picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-7894-2561-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1999

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