A delightful excursion into a timelessly magical world, eminently suitable for reading alone or aloud.

READ REVIEW

MARY POPPINS

A handsomely produced gift edition of the 1934 classic, undoubtedly timed to capitalize on the release of the upcoming film sequel, Mary Poppins Returns, in December 2018.

The text, including the later version of the “Bad Tuesday” chapter that Travers rewrote to remove its racial and cultural stereotypes, is laid out in well-leaded lines with spacious margins on smooth, slightly creamy paper. First seen through an oval window cut into the front cover, Mary Poppins is properly cast as a stern, erect figure with (as the narrative has it) “small, rather peering blue eyes” when she is on the job—and the very picture of charming vivacity on her magical “Day Out” with the Match-Man. In Sardá’s stylized scenes other figures are more broadly drawn: Michael as a chubby, rather spoiled-looking brat; Jane as a buttoned-up sort; the rest of the all-white human cast as sharp-featured caricatures. In between the spare array of larger illustrations, sprays of stars and flowers or images of a compass, a purse, or some other iconic item add well-placed notes of color. As they have for generations, readers will be sorry to see Mary Poppins flying off when the wind changes at last but heartened by both her promising “Au revoir” and the fact that the final chapter (like most of the previous ones) ends with an ellipsis….

A delightful excursion into a timelessly magical world, eminently suitable for reading alone or aloud. (Fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-328-49884-7

Page Count: 248

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

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Move over Ramona Quimby, Portland has another neighbor you have to meet! (Fiction. 8-10)

WAYS TO MAKE SUNSHINE

Ryan Hart is navigating the fourth grade and all its challenges with determination.

Her mom named her Ryan because it means “king,” and she wanted Ryan to feel powerful every time she heard her name; Ryan knows it means she is a leader. So when changes occur or disaster strikes, budding chef Ryan does her best to find the positive and “make sunshine.” When her dad is laid off from the post office, the family must make adjustments that include moving into a smaller house, selling their car, and changing how they shop for groceries. But Ryan gets to stay at Vernon Elementary, and her mom still finds a way to get her the ingredients she needs to practice new recipes. Her older brother, Ray, can be bossy, but he finds little ways to support her, especially when she is down—as does the whole family. Each episodic chapter confronts Ryan with a situation; intermittently funny, frustrating, and touching, they should be familiar and accessible to readers, as when Ryan fumbles her Easter speech despite careful practice. Ryan, her family, and friends are black, and Watson continues to bring visibility to both Portland, Oregon, generally and its black community specifically, making another wonderful contribution that allows black readers to see themselves and all readers to find a character they can love.

Move over Ramona Quimby, Portland has another neighbor you have to meet! (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 28, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5476-0056-4

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Jan. 21, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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Series fans will enjoy revisiting familiar characters and exploring the island of Cuba with them.

THE MADRE DE AGUAS OF CUBA

From the Unicorn Rescue Society series , Vol. 5

The Unicorn Rescue Society investigates the disappearance of a Cuban sea serpent.

In the fifth series installment, returning protagonists Uchenna and Elliot are in school, learning about water, when Professor Fauna calls them away. As the kids board the professor’s rickety single-propeller plane, they learn where exactly they are heading: Cuba. The island is in the middle of a massive drought, and Professor Fauna has reason to believe that the Madres de aguas (the Mother of Waters) has gone missing. It’s up to the society to find the sea serpent before any more damage is done to the people and wildlife of Cuba. As they set out on their mission of derring-do, they realize that once again they are up against their nemeses, the Schmoke Brothers. Via Yoenis, their Cuban American society liaison, Uchenna, Elliot, and readers learn about the political and economic hardships experienced by the people of Cuba, the island’s lack of basic goods and necessities, and Cuba’s need for real democracy (although the current role of the military is elided). This is conveyed within a quick, fast-paced read that’s ideal for kids who want a straightforward magical adventure. Uchenna is Nigerian, Elliot is white and Jewish, and Professor Fauna is Peruvian.

Series fans will enjoy revisiting familiar characters and exploring the island of Cuba with them. (Fantasy. 8-10)

Pub Date: May 12, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7352-3142-9

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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