An eminently child-friendly treatment of the devastation that follows disaster.

READ REVIEW

KENTA AND THE BIG WAVE

In this testament to resiliency and kindness during natural disasters, the Japanese boy Kenta’s soccer ball is swept away by a tsunami and eventually returned by a child living across the Pacific Ocean.

The opening double-page spread depicts an aerial view of lower-elevation homes being swallowed by waves; the ending spread, Kenta’s reunion with his soccer ball while nearby, construction workers re-build his town. From beginning to end, author/illustrator Ohi manages an admirable balancing act. Young children are exposed to the realities of loss and damage while also viewing such things as children at play in the emergency shelter at the school gym and dolphins frolicking in the same waves that have carried people’s belongings far away from their homes. Clever but accessible wording abounds, as in “The school gym was crowded with people looking for what they’d lost. Kenta found his mother and father. The ocean found Kenta’s soccer ball.” The watercolor-and-pencil illustrations are roughly hewn, but they include such careful details as English-language signs along the shoreline when the ball reaches North America. Muted colors work well with the sparse, poetic text to create an appropriate gentleness. The placement of words and pictures—and the clever device of pale banners for text over darker backgrounds—ensure easy use as a read-aloud to a group of young children.

An eminently child-friendly treatment of the devastation that follows disaster.   (author’s note) (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-55451-577-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 28, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2013

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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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Charming, scenic, and a winning must for the youngest polar bear lovers.

A POLAR BEAR IN THE SNOW

Follow a polar bear in the snow to see where he’s going.

Readers are thus invited into this beautifully poetic story as the bear wends his way toward a destination that soon becomes apparent. Against a backdrop of white, grays, and smudgy touches of black, the majestic animal awakens from a nap in a snowy landscape and glides along, seeking neither food nor shelter—and definitely not a human. The refrain “There is a polar bear in the snow” and the question “Where is he going?” are repeated over the course of the bear’s journey, capturing readers’ attention and building suspense. Then…the background changes to shades of glistening turquoise, clarifying exactly where he was headed—and it all makes perfect sense. Afterward, sheer whiteness reclaims the bear and the scene, and he leaves his footprints and readers behind. This lovely tale is simply and gently told in a hushed tone with minimal text per page and offers up a tantalizing air of mystery about this much-loved creature. The captivating cut-paper–and-ink illustrations are appropriately atmospheric, offering varied perspectives. They perfectly suit the prose’s quiet grandeur, and occasional blank or nearly blank pages suggest a completely snow-blanketed bear. The art reflects the peace, solitude, and colors of the Arctic habitat and depicts other wildlife that reside there, such as seals on which polar bears prey and arctic foxes.

Charming, scenic, and a winning must for the youngest polar bear lovers. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0396-7

Page Count: 41

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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