IT’S NOT THE STORK!

A BOOK ABOUT GIRLS, BOYS, BABIES, BODIES, FAMILIES, AND FRIENDS

Harris and Emberley’s trademark bird and bee return to help harried parents explain to their preschoolers and early elementary-aged children just exactly where babies come from. Opening with a dialogue that features a number of myths about procreation, the narrative then delivers what readers of It’s So Amazing! (1999) and It’s Perfectly Normal (1994) have come to expect: frank, age-appropriate discussions of topics that can send the unprepared parent screaming from the room. From the differences and similarities between boys and girls, to a preview of puberty, to conception, pregnancy and birth, Harris’s reassuring text and Emberley’s cheerfully lumpy cartoons hold the reader’s hand through question after question. Concluding chapters explore physical and emotional boundaries, “okay touches” and “not okay touches,” and the many different permutations of the modern family unit. Far too long for a bedtime read-aloud, this volume is well-suited for browsing, reference and independent examination. Although it is primarily aimed at young readers, the clarity and candor of the presentation will ensure its usefulness to older elementary children with limited reading skills. A happy addition to the Harris-Emberley family. (Nonfiction. 4-11)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-7636-0047-4

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2006

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THE LEMONADE WAR

From the Lemonade War series , Vol. 1

Told from the point of view of two warring siblings, this could have been an engaging first chapter book. Unfortunately, the length makes it less likely to appeal to the intended audience. Jessie and Evan are usually good friends as well as sister and brother. But the news that bright Jessie will be skipping a grade to join Evan’s fourth-grade class creates tension. Evan believes himself to be less than clever; Jessie’s emotional maturity doesn’t quite measure up to her intelligence. Rivalry and misunderstandings grow as the two compete to earn the most money in the waning days of summer. The plot rolls along smoothly and readers will be able to both follow the action and feel superior to both main characters as their motivations and misconceptions are clearly displayed. Indeed, a bit more subtlety in characterization might have strengthened the book’s appeal. The final resolution is not entirely believable, but the emphasis on cooperation and understanding is clear. Earnest and potentially successful, but just misses the mark. (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 23, 2007

ISBN: 0-618-75043-6

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2007

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A multilayered, endearing treasure of a day.

MY DAY WITH GONG GONG

Spending a day with Gong Gong doesn’t sound like very much fun to May.

Gong Gong doesn’t speak English, and May doesn’t know Chinese. How can they have a good day together? As they stroll through an urban Chinatown, May’s perpetually sanguine maternal grandfather chats with friends and visits shops. At each stop, Cantonese words fly back and forth, many clearly pointed at May, who understands none of it. It’s equally exasperating trying to communicate with Gong Gong in English, and by the time they join a card game in the park with Gong Gong’s friends, May is tired, hungry, and frustrated. But although it seems like Gong Gong hasn’t been attentive so far, when May’s day finally comes to a head, it is clear that he has. First-person text gives glimpses into May’s lively thoughts as they evolve through the day, and Gong Gong’s unchangingly jolly face reflects what could be mistaken for blithe obliviousness but is actually his way of showing love through sharing the people and places of his life. Through adorable illustrations that exude humor and warmth, this portrait of intergenerational affection is also a tribute to life in Chinatown neighborhoods: Street vendors, a busker playing a Chinese violin, a dim sum restaurant, and more all combine to add a distinctive texture. 

A multilayered, endearing treasure of a day. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-77321-429-0

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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