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Nascent wordsmiths will be left keen to explore the expressive possibilities for themselves.

An ode to the pleasures and surprises of compound words: “the smallest poem in the English language.”

Erlichman writes short lines of love and comfort, addressed to an unspecified “you” and laced throughout with standard or newly fashioned compound words: “A friendship is like that. / With sails powered by / the deepest of breaths. / Some might call it a loveship… / or a songship…or a wowship… / and they’d be right. / But even if your ship’s makeshift, / come beloved, be loved / by me.” In the fanciful, semiabstract art, human figures—most but not all adult, paper-white with red lips and other visible features, but drawn in simple, flowing lines as if wearing sheets over their heads—dance, embrace, wave, or gaze pensively outward. The voice, too, is adult (or nearly so), addressing an absent “Sweetheart” who evidently wrestles with depression and loneliness. Though the language occasionally takes a turn to the twee side (“Don’t be tooscared. Be toocared”), there is an insistent flow to the sounds and sentiments that will carry readers over the (not very rough) emotional rapids to a concluding reassurance that “you’ll always belong.” The trim is 8 ½ inches high by 6 ½ inches wide, so despite its heavily illustrated nature, it will not look out of place on YA shelves.

Nascent wordsmiths will be left keen to explore the expressive possibilities for themselves. (Picture book. 12-16)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-9996584-2-0

Page Count: 68

Publisher: Penny Candy

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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Facile pop-psychology from a clinical psychologist with the credentials to know better. Assigning a chapter each to a select range of feelings—nearly all of them painful or negative ones, such as guilt, fear or anger, with but one shorter chapter allotted to the likes of love and joy—Lamia offers generalizations about what emotional responses look and feel like, typical circumstances that might cause them to arise and superficial insights (“Negative or worried thoughts spoil a good mood”). She also offers bland palliative suggestions (“Forgive yourself and move on”), self-quizzes, sound-bite comments in the margins from young people and, in colored boxes labeled “Psych Notes,” relevant research abstracts from cited but hard-to-obtain professional sources. Aside from a mildly discouraging view of “Infatuation,” she isn’t judgmental or prescriptive, but her overview is so cursory that she skips the stages of grief, makes no distinction between disgust and contempt and barely takes notice of depression. Teens and preteens might come away slightly more self-aware, but they won’t find either motivation or tools to help them cope with major upset. (Self-help. 12-16)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4338-0890-6

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Magination/American Psychological Association

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2010

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A smart, accessible introduction to an important and interesting topic.

The way humans use nonverbal cues—sometimes willingly, sometimes accidentally—is explored in a lively presentation for young readers.

“Scientists say more than half our communication is conveyed nonverbally through body language. From head to toe, our bodies say volumes about our thoughts, attitudes, and feelings—whether we want them to or not,” the book opens. Often, spoken messages are undermined by physical posture and gestures that convey opposite information. Practically every part of the human body contributes meaning, sometimes without the individual’s awareness. Eye contact, body position, facial expressions, touch, foot movement and even the way voices are used transmit as much as spoken words. Observing nonverbal cues increases understanding in communication and provides strategies for handling tense situations. Jackson joins with body-language expert Goman to explain the subject, demonstrating its importance as young people grow and develop. Using examples teens will recognize—young people struggling with stage fright, a teen twisting her hair nervously, young athletes avoiding the gaze of the coach—makes the narrative particularly accessible. The chapter on the cultural roots of body language, including differences in personal space, is especially compelling. The bright, open design with its use of sidebars and smart selection of supporting photographs goes well with the conversational style.

A smart, accessible introduction to an important and interesting topic. (source notes, glossary, further reading and viewing, index) (Nonfiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4677-0858-6

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Twenty-First Century/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Feb. 25, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

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