Intermittent fog obscures introductory meteorology and climatology.

WHAT'S THE WEATHER?

Full-color photographs accompany large-print text about weather and climate change.

As with Rotner’s other books, the layout and photography will draw viewers in. However, the diverse children in the photos lack the spontaneity of previous titles, too often looking like posed models rather than ordinary children experiencing different kinds of weather. There are some striking photographs of cloud formations and other phenomena (many from stock sources). The text vacillates, offering in turn simplistic two- or three-word statements regarding weather, well-formulated compound sentences with easily digested information, and complex, clumsy sentences such as: “It snows when the temperature is low and clouds get heavy and fill with drops of water that freeze and fall to the ground.” It is also unfortunate that, after mentioning that seasonal changes are dependent on “where you live,” the text launches into sentences that describe specifically the seasons in temperate climates—without specifying that this is the case. This is at least as important as the later introduction of the North and South poles or the word “meteorologist.” After giving some basic facts about such things as the difference between sleet and hail, there is a rudimentary explanation of global warming and climate change. Credit is due for including this. However, both in this section and earlier in the book, there are awkward sentences that almost defy meaning. In short, neither text nor art measures up to, for example, Hello Summer! (2019) and its seasonal companions.

Intermittent fog obscures introductory meteorology and climatology. (glossary, note from climatologist) (Informational picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4349-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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Caregivers eager to expose their children to fine art have better choices than this.

ABCS OF ART

From “Apple” to “Zebra,” an alphabet of images drawn from museum paintings.

In an exhibition that recalls similar, if less parochial, ABCs from the Metropolitan Museum of Art (My First ABC, 2009) and several other institutions, Hahn presents a Eurocentric selection of paintings or details to illustrate for each letter a common item or animal—all printed with reasonable clarity and captioned with identifying names, titles, and dates. She then proceeds to saddle each with an inane question (“What sounds do you think this cat is making?” “Where can you find ice?”) and a clumsily written couplet that unnecessarily repeats the artist’s name: “Flowers are plants that blossom and bloom. / Frédéric Bazille painted them filling up this room!” She also sometimes contradicts the visuals, claiming that the horses in a Franz Marc painting entitled “Two Horses, 1912” are ponies, apparently to populate the P page. Moreover, her “X” is an actual X-ray of a Jean-Honoré Fragonard, showing that the artist repainted his subject’s face…interesting but not quite in keeping with the familiar subjects chosen for the other letters.

Caregivers eager to expose their children to fine art have better choices than this. (Informational picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5107-4938-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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Adults will do better skipping the book and talking with their children.

AN ABC OF EQUALITY

Social-equity themes are presented to children in ABC format.

Terms related to intersectional inequality, such as “class,” “gender,” “privilege,” “oppression,” “race,” and “sex,” as well as other topics important to social justice such as “feminism,” “human being,” “immigration,” “justice,” “kindness,” “multicultural,” “transgender,” “understanding,” and “value” are named and explained. There are 26 in all, one for each letter of the alphabet. Colorful two-page spreads with kid-friendly illustrations present each term. First the term is described: “Belief is when you are confident something exists even if you can’t see it. Lots of different beliefs fill the world, and no single belief is right for everyone.” On the facing page it concludes: “B is for BELIEF / Everyone has different beliefs.” It is hard to see who the intended audience for this little board book is. Babies and toddlers are busy learning the names for their body parts, familiar objects around them, and perhaps some basic feelings like happy, hungry, and sad; slightly older preschoolers will probably be bewildered by explanations such as: “A value is an expression of how to live a belief. A value can serve as a guide for how you behave around other human beings. / V is for VALUE / Live your beliefs out loud.”

Adults will do better skipping the book and talking with their children. (Board book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-78603-742-8

Page Count: 52

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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