This is both a fascinating look at school around the world and a very subtle message to readers to appreciate what they have.


Riding the school bus will lose some of its allure and excitement but not its value for readers after seeing how kids around the world get to school.

McCarney points out that not all children who want to get an education are able to. But for those that can, getting there can be a challenge. Full-color photographs of children’s journeys fill the pages. These are labeled with the country, though the black text against mostly dark backgrounds makes them difficult (and a few times impossible) to read. The U.S. is first: a Caucasian boy with a backpack and lunchbox stretches a foot up to board an iconic bus. Some children in Cambodia and Indonesia use boats to get to school. In Nepal and Colombia, students may use a rope and a zip line–like apparatus to “fly across” obstacles. Donkeys, oxen, water buffalo, and dog teams play their parts, too. Beyond the sometimes-dangerous ways that kids travel around the world, what may strike readers the most is the lengths these kids will go to to learn: some carry their own water, as their schools lack this resource; others bring their own desks; and unstated but obvious from the pictures is that going to school in many countries requires a uniform, an added expense for poor families.

This is both a fascinating look at school around the world and a very subtle message to readers to appreciate what they have. (Informational picture book. 4-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-927583-78-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Second Story Press

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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            There are many parallel legends – the seal women, for example, with their strange sad longings – but none is more direct than this American Indian story of a girl who is carried away in a horses’ stampede…to ride thenceforth by the side of a beautiful stallion who leads the wild horses.  The girl had always loved horses, and seemed to understand them “in a special way”; a year after her disappearance her people find her riding beside the stallion, calf in tow, and take her home despite his strong resistance.  But she is unhappy and returns to the stallion; after that, a beautiful mare is seen riding always beside him.  Goble tells the story soberly, allowing it to settle, to find its own level.  The illustrations are in the familiar striking Goble style, but softened out here and there with masses of flowers and foliage – suitable perhaps for the switch in subject matter from war to love, but we miss the spanking clean design of Custer’s Last Battle and The Fetterman Fight.          6-7

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1978

ISBN: 0689845049

Page Count: -

Publisher: Bradbury

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1978

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A rollicking tale of rivalry.


Sweet Street had just one baker, Monsieur Oliphant, until two new confectionists move in, bringing a sugar rush of competition and customers.

First comes “Cookie Concocter par excellence” Mademoiselle Fee and then a pie maker, who opens “the divine Patisserie Clotilde!” With each new arrival to Sweet Street, rivalries mount and lines of hungry treat lovers lengthen. Children will delight in thinking about an abundance of gingerbread cookies, teetering, towering cakes, and blackbird pies. Wonderfully eccentric line-and-watercolor illustrations (with whites and marbled pastels like frosting) appeal too. Fine linework lends specificity to an off-kilter world in which buildings tilt at wacky angles and odd-looking (exclusively pale) people walk about, their pantaloons, ruffles, long torsos, and twiglike arms, legs, and fingers distinguishing them as wonderfully idiosyncratic. Rotund Monsieur Oliphant’s periwinkle complexion, flapping ears, and elongated nose make him look remarkably like an elephant while the women confectionists appear clownlike, with exaggerated lips, extravagantly lashed eyes, and voluminous clothes. French idioms surface intermittently, adding a certain je ne sais quoi. Embedded rhymes contribute to a bouncing, playful narrative too: “He layered them and cherried them and married people on them.” Tension builds as the cul de sac grows more congested with sweet-makers, competition, frustration, and customers. When the inevitable, fantastically messy food fight occurs, an observant child finds a sweet solution amid the delicious detritus.

A rollicking tale of rivalry. (Picture book. 4-8 )

Pub Date: July 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-101-91885-2

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Tundra Books

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2020

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