111 TREES

HOW ONE VILLAGE CELEBRATES THE BIRTH OF EVERY GIRL

From the CitizenKid series

An inspiring picture book about eco-feminism in action in the global south.

Haunted by the untimely deaths of his mother and daughter, an Indian man named Sundar grows up to become an activist dedicated to advancing gender equity and environmental justice in his home state of Rajasthan.

After he gets married, Sundar works in a marble quarry owned by men who unapologetically wreak ecological havoc on the land. Disgusted by these practices, Sundar quits his job and runs for the position of head of his village, a title known as the sarpanch, and wins. His joy is short-lived: A year after his victory, his oldest daughter dies. As he mourns, he notices how little female children are valued in his village. He then hatches a plan to honor his daughter’s memory, change attitudes about gender, and combat the deforestation that has been devastating the local land. Every time a girl is born in the village, Sundar decides that the people will plant 111 trees in her honor. Sundar’s idea fundamentally affects his hometown in deeply positive ways. Including endnotes about Rajasthan, gender equity, and eco-feminism, this earnest, inspiring book forthrightly discusses everything from environmental exploitation to female feticide in language suitable for young readers. Although many readers will give a side-eye when Sundar tells the villagers that in developed countries “girls and boys are treated equally,” overall, this is an uplifting story about the power of personal action. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.4-by-19-inch double-page spreads viewed at 41.1% of actual size.)

An inspiring picture book about eco-feminism in action in the global south. (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5253-0120-9

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

BUTT OR FACE?

A gleeful game for budding naturalists.

Artfully cropped animal portraits challenge viewers to guess which end they’re seeing.

In what will be a crowd-pleasing and inevitably raucous guessing game, a series of close-up stock photos invite children to call out one of the titular alternatives. A page turn reveals answers and basic facts about each creature backed up by more of the latter in a closing map and table. Some of the posers, like the tail of an okapi or the nose on a proboscis monkey, are easy enough to guess—but the moist nose on a star-nosed mole really does look like an anus, and the false “eyes” on the hind ends of a Cuyaba dwarf frog and a Promethea moth caterpillar will fool many. Better yet, Lavelle saves a kicker for the finale with a glimpse of a small parasitical pearlfish peeking out of a sea cucumber’s rear so that the answer is actually face and butt. “Animal identification can be tricky!” she concludes, noting that many of the features here function as defenses against attack: “In the animal world, sometimes your butt will save your face and your face just might save your butt!” (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A gleeful game for budding naturalists. (author’s note) (Informational picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: July 11, 2023

ISBN: 9781728271170

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks eXplore

Review Posted Online: May 9, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2023

ECLIPSE

Sure to have readers booking their own trips to catch the next brief but memorable solar eclipse.

A total solar eclipse brings a father and son closer together.

After learning in school about the eclipse’s impending arrival, a curious young boy excitedly figures out the best time and place to see it. His father agrees to transport him to the woods to view the eclipse, and the child describes everything that happens at various points—two months before the eclipse, then a month, a week, a day, an hour, a minute, and the exciting second before the sun slips behind the moon. Time seems to stand still, and the creatures in the woods are baffled by what appears to be an early nightfall. Then the countdown begins again, with the boy describing what happens after the eclipse—one second, one minute, one hour, one day, one year, and even longer. The moment has become a shared memory that enhances the bond between father and son and inspires future eclipse-chasing expeditions. Based on the author’s actual experience with his own son in 2017, this picture book features lively, child-friendly digital artwork filled with scenes of nature, matter-of-fact text that acknowledges the awesomeness of this rare phenomenon, and useful maps that chart the solar eclipse of 2017 and projected paths for future eclipses. Father and son are light-skinned. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Sure to have readers booking their own trips to catch the next brief but memorable solar eclipse. (more information on eclipses) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2023

ISBN: 9781338608823

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2023

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