A well-meaning but not fully successful picture book for those on the autistic spectrum.

ALIENATED

An autistic boy views the world as being inhabited by brightly colored aliens, very different from his human self—until he sees a new girl who looks a lot like him.

Brief rhyming verse that often fails to scan accompanies the lively, exceptionally colorful illustrations of myriad differently shaped aliens (including the boy’s parents and brother) engaged in everyday activities. In addition to not looking like an alien, the boy is also socially isolated: “They eat their lunch together. / I eat my lunch alone.” The accompanying illustration shows him sitting by himself at a cafeteria table, but, strangely, there is an extra tray of food next to him. After he asks his tentacled, multieyed father about the new girl, his parent reassures him: “Dad tells me that some people see / the world through different eyes. / She is special just like I am, / which takes me by surprise.” They invite the girl over. The pair share space but don’t interact. Nonetheless, her presence is comforting. The concept that the boy and girl (who are both white) see themselves as different from everyone else is shown—although it’s a bit murky since each alien is also quite unique—but younger children on the autism spectrum might be inclined to take the images literally and not understand the deeper message.

A well-meaning but not fully successful picture book for those on the autistic spectrum. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: July 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-63411-007-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Thunderstone Books

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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THE GIRL WHO LOVED WILD HORSES

            There are many parallel legends – the seal women, for example, with their strange sad longings – but none is more direct than this American Indian story of a girl who is carried away in a horses’ stampede…to ride thenceforth by the side of a beautiful stallion who leads the wild horses.  The girl had always loved horses, and seemed to understand them “in a special way”; a year after her disappearance her people find her riding beside the stallion, calf in tow, and take her home despite his strong resistance.  But she is unhappy and returns to the stallion; after that, a beautiful mare is seen riding always beside him.  Goble tells the story soberly, allowing it to settle, to find its own level.  The illustrations are in the familiar striking Goble style, but softened out here and there with masses of flowers and foliage – suitable perhaps for the switch in subject matter from war to love, but we miss the spanking clean design of Custer’s Last Battle and The Fetterman Fight.          6-7

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1978

ISBN: 0689845049

Page Count: -

Publisher: Bradbury

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1978

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A culturally intricate slice of a lupine courier’s life.

¡VAMOS! LET'S GO TO THE MARKET

From the ¡Vamos! series

Little Lobo and his dog, Bernabé, journey through a Mexican mercado delivering diverse goods to a variety of booths.

With the aid of red words splattered throughout the spreads as labels, Raúl the Third gives an introduction to Spanish vocabulary as Little Lobo, an anthropomorphic wolf, leaves his house, fills his cart with objects from his warehouse, and delivers them to the market’s vendors. The journey also serves as a crash course in Mexican culture, as the images are packed with intertextual details such as food, traditional games, and characters, including Cantinflas, Frida Khalo, and Juan Gabriel. Readers acquainted with Raúl the Third’s characters from his Lowriders series with author Cathy Camper will appreciate cameos from familiar characters. As he makes his rounds, Little Lobo also collects different artifacts that people offer in exchange for his deliveries of shoe polish, clothespins, wood, tissue paper, paintbrushes, and a pair of golden laces. Although Raúl the Third departs from the ball-pen illustrations that he is known for, his depiction of creatures and critters peppering the borderland where his stories are set remains in his trademark style. The softer hues in the illustrations (chosen by colorist Bay) keep the busy compositions friendly, and the halftone patterns filling the illustrations create foregrounds and backgrounds reminiscent of Roy Lichtenstein’s pointillism.

A culturally intricate slice of a lupine courier’s life. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-55726-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Versify/HMH

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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