MY TATA'S REMEDIES / LOS REMEDIOS DE MI TATA

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

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: March 31, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2015

MAMA BUILT A LITTLE NEST

A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.

Echoing the meter of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” Ward uses catchy original rhymes to describe the variety of nests birds create.

Each sweet stanza is complemented by a factual, engaging description of the nesting habits of each bird. Some of the notes are intriguing, such as the fact that the hummingbird uses flexible spider web to construct its cup-shaped nest so the nest will stretch as the chicks grow. An especially endearing nesting behavior is that of the emperor penguin, who, with unbelievable patience, incubates the egg between his tummy and his feet for up to 60 days. The author clearly feels a mission to impart her extensive knowledge of birds and bird behavior to the very young, and she’s found an appealing and attractive way to accomplish this. The simple rhymes on the left page of each spread, written from the young bird’s perspective, will appeal to younger children, and the notes on the right-hand page of each spread provide more complex factual information that will help parents answer further questions and satisfy the curiosity of older children. Jenkins’ accomplished collage illustrations of common bird species—woodpecker, hummingbird, cowbird, emperor penguin, eagle, owl, wren—as well as exotics, such as flamingoes and hornbills, are characteristically naturalistic and accurate in detail.

A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.   (author’s note, further resources) (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2116-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2014

CAMILLA, CARTOGRAPHER

An adorable adventure in cartography.

An exercise of spatial thinking through a snowy forest.

Camilla the warthog collects maps. Maps of stars, New York, even the London Tube. She even owns an ancient map of her forest. Unfortunately for her, she believes all lands have been explored and there is nothing new to chart. However, with a snowy morning comes a new opportunity. When her hedgehog neighbor, Parsley, asks for her help in finding the creek, Camilla quivers with excitement when she realizes the snow-covered land “is uncharted territory.” With all landmarks covered in snow, Camilla and Parsley must use their spatial-reasoning skills and a compass to find a new way to the creek. Their trailblazing journey proves a challenge as they keep bumping into trees, rocks, and walls. But when they find the creek, Camilla will have all the information and tools ready to draw out a new map, to break out in case of another snowfall. Wood’s delightful illustrations and Dillemuth’s expertise in the matter engage readers in the woodland creatures’ adventures. In addition, Dillemuth, who holds a doctorate in geography, provides activities in the backmatter for parents and caregivers to help children develop their own spatial-reasoning skills, such as sketching and reading maps or using cardinal directions.

An adorable adventure in cartography. (author’s note) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4338-3033-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Magination/American Psychological Association

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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