Sweetly packaged, simple steps we all can take.

READ REVIEW

JOIN THE NO-PLASTIC CHALLENGE!

A FIRST BOOK OF REDUCING WASTE

From the Exploring Our Community series

Nick and his friends demonstrate that even young children can reduce their reliance on single-use plastics.

Four friends, a dog, and a cat join Nick to celebrate his birthday with a single-use-plastics–free picnic. Spread by spread, Ritchie introduces the ubiquity of plastics in our world, the availability of alternatives to single-use plastics, the problem of plastic waste in waterways and ocean gyres, and how it harms animals—and the people who eat them. On the ferry to the island where they will picnic, the children notice trash in the water, the lack of recycling bins, and the sale of drinks with straws (text reminds readers that some people with disabilities need straws). One spread offers a step-by-step diagram of plastic manufacture; another suggests ways to avoid plastics. Finally, the five partygoers help with a beach cleanup (wearing gloves). Engaging digital artwork may remind readers of the ink-and-watercolor illustrations of Bob Graham. There are even occasional shifts in perspective. Like his ponytailed mother, Nick is white; he wears glasses; his friends have names and appearances of varying ethnicities. Another ferry passenger is using a wheelchair. A simple, two-level text tells the story of their day, with further explanations from the author in a different type. At a time of heightened awareness of plastic pollution in the ocean, adults will welcome this introduction.

Sweetly packaged, simple steps we all can take. (glossary) (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5253-0240-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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Phoned-in illustrations keep this quick overview firmly planted on the launch pad.

THE BIG BEYOND

THE STORY OF SPACE TRAVEL

A capsule history of space exploration, from early stargazing to probes roaming the surface of Mars.

In loosely rhymed couplets Carter’s high-speed account zooms past the inventions of constellations, telescopes, and flying machines to the launches of Sputnik I, the “Saturn Five” (spelled out, probably, to facilitate the rhyme) that put men on the moon, and later probes. He caps it all with an enticing suggestion: “We’ll need an astronaut (or two)— / so what do you think? Could it be YOU?” Cushley lines up a notably diverse array of prospective young space travelers for this finish, but anachronistic earlier views of a dark-skinned astronaut floating in orbit opposite poetic references to the dogs, cats, and other animals sent into space in the 1950s and a model of the space shuttle on a shelf next to a line of viewers watching the televised moon landing in 1969 show no great regard for verisimilitude. Also, his full-page opening picture of the Challenger, its ports painted to look like a smiley face, just moments before it blew up is a decidedly odd choice to illustrate the poem’s opening countdown. As with his cosmological lyric Once upon a Star (2018, illustrated by Mar Hernández), the poet closes with a page of further facts arranged as an acrostic.

Phoned-in illustrations keep this quick overview firmly planted on the launch pad. (Informational picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68010-147-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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HOW THINGS WORK IN THE YARD

From birds and their nests to a hose and sprinkler, this attractive informational title presents 21 familiar objects that might be found in a young reader’s suburban yard. Clear, clean cut-paper illustrations in pleasingly unsaturated colors are laid out in double-page spreads on a background of colored graph paper. The minimal text is presented will in digestible bits. Acting as an example of a bird, a robin's body parts (eye, beak, feathers, etc.) are labeled, and a few fast facts (they "communicate with each other by singing," for example) are given. The range is surprisingly varied: animals such as snails, fireflies and ants; tools and toys such as a ball, a wagon and a bubble wand; dandelions, clouds and puddles; even rocks and dirt. Occasionally parts of humans are depicted; their skin colors vary. Ernst has a clear sense of what her young readers might notice and wonder about. She also helps them make connections. A caterpillar page is followed by one on a butterfly; acorn is followed by squirrel. Some, like clouds and puddles, appear on the same spread. The definitions and explanations are clear and simple, and the author sometimes suggests an activity: making a dandelion chain, catching fireflies, painting rocks, even jumping in puddles! A beguiling invitation to curious young readers and listeners to explore both the pages of the book and the world outside their doors. (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-60905-009-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Blue Apple

Review Posted Online: April 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2011

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