A tender, gentle celebration.

UP IN THE LEAVES

THE TRUE STORY OF THE CENTRAL PARK TREEHOUSES

Bob is uncomfortable with the noise, the crowds, and the fast pace of New York City.

He feels claustrophobic and longs for escape. Most of all, the young, white boy needs to be above it all. Climbing lampposts or going up to his building’s rooftop help, but it is the expanse of Central Park that soothes his soul. The trees seem to invite him to climb them and explore. He is happy above the city in his secret spot. He builds himself a treehouse and makes it his peaceful hideaway. When the treehouse disappears (the text never explains this phenomenon, leaving it to caregivers to help children understand), he feels its loss deeply but begins a new one, more hidden, and better than the first. As the years pass, he builds ever more intricate ones, even a kind of village in a tree, but every one of them is taken away. Finally, park officials order him down—and, miraculously, offer him a job caring for the park’s trees. It becomes his life’s work, and he loves everything about it. Boss shares the tale of Bob Redman, a real arborist in New York, with simple, heartfelt language, displaying compassion and understanding of Bob’s dedication to his trees. The text appears in white spaces nestled among Christoph’s soft, delicately hued illustrations, which beautifully depict, with great attention to detail, the wide variety of trees that Bob encounters.

A tender, gentle celebration. (epilogue) (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: March 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4549-2071-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2018

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Informative, empowering, and fun.

ROX'S SECRET CODE

Girl power abounds in this book about coding that introduces young readers to the world of programming while offering them hands-on activities via a companion app.

In this title that was first introduced as a customizable, personalized print-on-demand product, Rox has a superpower. Using code, she programs toy robots that can do things like make broccoli disappear—or mischief. When Dad tells Rox to clean her room, she quickly thinks up a bot that will do it for her, writing code that instructs her bot to use artificial intelligence to sort objects by color and type. Though Rox knows that there’s a high potential for her creation to rebel, the perks outweigh any potential adverse effects. Rox’s robot has her room neat and tidy in no time—and then the entire home. Chorebot’s AI allows it to keep learning, and it seems Chorebot can do no wrong until the robot decides to rearrange the entire city (both buildings and people) by type, style, and gender. Chorebot goes “out of his artificial mind!” Rox must now stop her creation…without the assistance of the internet. The artwork, styled in the tradition of popular superhero series, is peppy and colorful, and it depicts Rox as an adorable black girl donning a black bomber jacket and a pink tutu. A companion app (not available for review) allows readers to create a bot of their own.

Informative, empowering, and fun. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-57687-899-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: POW!

Review Posted Online: Sept. 2, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

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Cool and stylish.

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ADA TWIST, SCIENTIST

Her intellectual curiosity is surpassed only by her passion for science. But what to do about her messy experiments?

Ada is speechless until she turns 3. But once she learns how to break out of her crib, there’s no stopping the kinky-haired, brown-skinned girl. “She tore through the house on a fact-finding spree.” When she does start speaking, her favorite words are “why,” “how,” and “when.” Her parents, a fashion-forward black couple who sport a variety of trendy outfits, are dumbfounded, and her older brother can only point at her in astonishment. She amazes her friends with her experiments. Ada examines all the clocks in the house, studies the solar system, and analyzes all the smells she encounters. Fortunately, her parents stop her from putting the cat in the dryer, sending her instead to the Thinking Chair. But while there, she covers the wall with formulae. What can her parents do? Instead of punishing her passion, they decide to try to understand it. “It’s all in the heart of a young scientist.” Though her plot is negligible—Ada’s parents arguably change more than she does—Beaty delightfully advocates for girls in science in her now-trademark crisply rhyming text. Roberts’ illustrations, in watercolor, pen, and ink, manage to be both smart and silly; the page compositions artfully evoke the tumult of Ada’s curiosity, filling white backgrounds with questions and clutter.

Cool and stylish. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2137-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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