So many cultural treasures are dependent on word-of-mouth transmission, and this story encourages grandparents to lovingly...

MY TATA'S REMEDIES / LOS REMEDIOS DE MI TATA

Following My Nana's Remedies/Los Remedios De Mi Nana, illustrated by Edna San Miguel (2002), Rivera-Ashford offers another semiautobiographical and child-friendly recounting of the importance of sharing intergenerational wisdom, this time accompanied by Castro L.’s expressive illustrations.

From a banged-up forehead to a fever in the middle of the night, there are many opportunities for Aaron to observe his tata sharing concern and good cheer as he dispenses remedies based primarily on medicinal herbs to neighbors and friends. A Latino nonsense ditty used to console children when they are sick or hurt comes in handy when Aaron’s little brother’s itchy feet need attention ("Heal, heal, little tail of a frog; if you don’t heal today, you’ll be healed tomorrow"). Readers will be glad to know that Nana from the earlier book makes an appearance, and they may even wish that they were prescribed her freshly made empanadas, which she shares with the patients as part of Tata’s treatments. The large and colorful single-page illustrations successfully elicit empathy for those seeking relief from various maladies at Tata’s door. Botanically correct depictions of the plants utilized in the remedies decorate the text pages and are duplicated in the appendix, where properties and usage are described in more detail than within the fully bilingual text. 

So many cultural treasures are dependent on word-of-mouth transmission, and this story encourages grandparents to lovingly pass on their knowledge to eager grandchildren and family members. (Bilingual picture book. 4-11)

Pub Date: May 5, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-935955-91-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Cinco Puntos Press

Review Posted Online: April 1, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2015

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Earnest and silly by turns, it doesn’t quite capture the attention or the imagination, although surely its heart is in the...

ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER

Rhymed couplets convey the story of a girl who likes to build things but is shy about it. Neither the poetry nor Rosie’s projects always work well.

Rosie picks up trash and oddments where she finds them, stashing them in her attic room to work on at night. Once, she made a hat for her favorite zookeeper uncle to keep pythons away, and he laughed so hard that she never made anything publicly again. But when her great-great-aunt Rose comes to visit and reminds Rosie of her own past building airplanes, she expresses her regret that she still has not had the chance to fly. Great-great-aunt Rose is visibly modeled on Rosie the Riveter, the iconic, red-bandanna–wearing poster woman from World War II. Rosie decides to build a flying machine and does so (it’s a heli-o-cheese-copter), but it fails. She’s just about to swear off making stuff forever when Aunt Rose congratulates her on her failure; now she can go on to try again. Rosie wears her hair swooped over one eye (just like great-great-aunt Rose), and other figures have exaggerated hairdos, tiny feet and elongated or greatly rounded bodies. The detritus of Rosie’s collections is fascinating, from broken dolls and stuffed animals to nails, tools, pencils, old lamps and possibly an erector set. And cheddar-cheese spray.

Earnest and silly by turns, it doesn’t quite capture the attention or the imagination, although surely its heart is in the right place. (historical note) (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0845-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2013

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An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way.

NOAH CHASES THE WIND

A young boy sees things a little differently than others.

Noah can see patterns in the dust when it sparkles in the sunlight. And if he puts his nose to the ground, he can smell the “green tang of the ants in the grass.” His most favorite thing of all, however, is to read. Noah has endless curiosity about how and why things work. Books open the door to those answers. But there is one question the books do not explain. When the wind comes whistling by, where does it go? Noah decides to find out. In a chase that has a slight element of danger—wind, after all, is unpredictable—Noah runs down streets, across bridges, near a highway, until the wind lifts him off his feet. Cowman’s gusty wisps show each stream of air turning a different jewel tone, swirling all around. The ribbons gently bring Noah home, setting him down under the same thinking tree where he began. Did it really happen? Worthington’s sensitive exploration leaves readers with their own set of questions and perhaps gratitude for all types of perspective. An author’s note mentions children on the autism spectrum but widens to include all who feel a little different.

An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60554-356-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Redleaf Lane

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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