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DAD'S CAMERA

As readers experience uncertainty, Watkins opens the door to discussion, making this an opportunity for dialogue about an...

A father with Alzheimer’s uses a camera to capture memories for his family.

When Dad brings home an old camera, he takes pictures of objects only. Rolls of film reveal the minutiae of life: jam jars, measuring tape, the bus stop. Knowing his father’s circumstances, the son believes the photos represent what his father wants to remember—yet there are no pictures of himself or his mom. Anger, sadness, and empathy wash over them as they remind themselves of what the doctor said about Dad’s behavior. After Dad passes away, the boy and his mom receive a box in the mail with Dad’s writing on the label. Inside is his camera, with one photo on the roll: a snapshot of a framed picture of their family. Together, mother and son realize Dad’s photos were to help them remember him. Anelli uses monoprints to capture the spontaneity of drawing, mirroring the idea of someone trying to capture an impression of his life. She layers these moments of inspiration with collage, watercolors, and digital coloring. Her free-form lines done with a skillful, controlled hand are at the core of the artwork. Done in a primary palette, the impressionistic illustrations have energy and appeal and are tasteful, raw, and emotional. Mom, Dad, and narrator all have light skin and dark hair.

As readers experience uncertainty, Watkins opens the door to discussion, making this an opportunity for dialogue about an illness that touches the lives of so many today. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 9, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0138-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 13, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2018

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LITTLE DAYMOND LEARNS TO EARN

It’s hard to argue with success, but guides that actually do the math will be more useful to budding capitalists.

How to raise money for a coveted poster: put your friends to work!

John, founder of the FUBU fashion line and a Shark Tank venture capitalist, offers a self-referential blueprint for financial success. Having only half of the $10 he needs for a Minka J poster, Daymond forks over $1 to buy a plain T-shirt, paints a picture of the pop star on it, sells it for $5, and uses all of his cash to buy nine more shirts. Then he recruits three friends to decorate them with his design and help sell them for an unspecified amount (from a conveniently free and empty street-fair booth) until they’re gone. The enterprising entrepreneur reimburses himself for the shirts and splits the remaining proceeds, which leaves him with enough for that poster as well as a “brand-new business book,” while his friends express other fiscal strategies: saving their share, spending it all on new art supplies, or donating part and buying a (math) book with the rest. (In a closing summation, the author also suggests investing in stocks, bonds, or cryptocurrency.) Though Miles cranks up the visual energy in her sparsely detailed illustrations by incorporating bright colors and lots of greenbacks, the actual advice feels a bit vague. Daymond is Black; most of the cast are people of color. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

It’s hard to argue with success, but guides that actually do the math will be more useful to budding capitalists. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: March 21, 2023

ISBN: 978-0-593-56727-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Dec. 13, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2023

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CLAYMATES

The dynamic interaction between the characters invites readers to take risks, push boundaries, and have a little unscripted...

Reinvention is the name of the game for two blobs of clay.

A blue-eyed gray blob and a brown-eyed brown blob sit side by side, unsure as to what’s going to happen next. The gray anticipates an adventure, while the brown appears apprehensive. A pair of hands descends, and soon, amid a flurry of squishing and prodding and poking and sculpting, a handsome gray wolf and a stately brown owl emerge. The hands disappear, leaving the friends to their own devices. The owl is pleased, but the wolf convinces it that the best is yet to come. An ear pulled here and an extra eye placed there, and before you can shake a carving stick, a spurt of frenetic self-exploration—expressed as a tangled black scribble—reveals a succession of smug hybrid beasts. After all, the opportunity to become a “pig-e-phant” doesn’t come around every day. But the sound of approaching footsteps panics the pair of Picassos. How are they going to “fix [them]selves” on time? Soon a hippopotamus and peacock are staring bug-eyed at a returning pair of astonished hands. The creative naiveté of the “clay mates” is perfectly captured by Petty’s feisty, spot-on dialogue: “This was your idea…and it was a BAD one.” Eldridge’s endearing sculpted images are photographed against the stark white background of an artist’s work table to great effect.

The dynamic interaction between the characters invites readers to take risks, push boundaries, and have a little unscripted fun of their own . (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 20, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-316-30311-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

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