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From the CitizenKid series

A lovely story with many uses.

This true story shows how a boy in Malawi changed his family’s habits to improve gender equality.

Victor and Linesi are 8-year-old twins. Every morning, they say goodbye to Mama and race to the kachere tree, where they part ways. Victor, a boy, goes to school, but now Linesi, a girl, goes to the riverbed with a bucket to fetch water for the family, like the other women and older girls. At school, Victor enjoys English lessons from his funny teacher, and one day, Mr. Tambala talks about gender equality. The homework is to notice whether boys and girls are treated equally. After school, Victor notices that the girls do chores while the boys go to school, play games, and do homework. He decides to try to teach Linesi at night, but it doesn’t work. He talks to his family, and they agree to make a change: Victor and Linesi start taking turns going to school and fetching water. Soon, their friends make a similar change, and perhaps more changes will come to their village. This inspiring story is a thoughtful representation of a community on the brink of change. Victor shows how an individual’s actions can ripple out to change a culture and others’ lives. The joyful illustrations make clever use of full scenes and boxed vignettes to show activities, dreams, and choices within a visually monochromatic setting. The characters’ smiling faces defy stereotypes and offer hope. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A lovely story with many uses. (author's note, resources, glossary) (Informational picture book. 4-10)

Pub Date: June 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5253-0249-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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From the Find Momo series , Vol. 7

A well-meaning but lackluster tribute.

Readers bid farewell to a beloved canine character.

Momo is—or was—an adorable and very photogenic border collie owned by author Knapp. The many readers who loved him in the previous half-dozen books are in for a shock with this one. “Momo had died” is the stark reality—and there are no photographs of him here. Instead, Momo has been replaced by a flat cartoonish pastiche with strange, staring round white eyes, inserted into some of Knapp’s photography (which remains appealing, insofar as it can be discerned under the mixed media). Previous books contained few or no words. Unfortunately, virtuosity behind a lens does not guarantee mastery of verse. The art here is accompanied by words that sometimes rhyme but never find a workable or predictable rhythm (“We’d fetch and we’d catch, / we’d run and we’d jump. Every day we found new / games to play”). It’s a pity, because the subject—a pet’s death—is an important one to address with children. Of course, Momo isn’t gone; he can still be found “everywhere” in memories. But alas, he can be found here only in the crude depictions of the darling dog so well known from the earlier books.

A well-meaning but lackluster tribute. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2024

ISBN: 9781683693864

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Quirk Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2023

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A sweet and endearing feathered migration.

A relationship between a Latina grandmother and her mixed-race granddaughter serves as the frame to depict the ruby-throated hummingbird migration pattern.

In Granny’s lap, a girl is encouraged to “keep still” as the intergenerational pair awaits the ruby-throated hummingbirds with bowls of water in their hands. But like the granddaughter, the tz’unun—“the word for hummingbird in several [Latin American] languages”—must soon fly north. Over the next several double-page spreads, readers follow the ruby-throated hummingbird’s migration pattern from Central America and Mexico through the United States all the way to Canada. Davies metaphorically reunites the granddaughter and grandmother when “a visitor from Granny’s garden” crosses paths with the girl in New York City. Ray provides delicately hashed lines in the illustrations that bring the hummingbirds’ erratic flight pattern to life as they travel north. The watercolor palette is injected with vibrancy by the addition of gold ink, mirroring the hummingbirds’ flashing feathers in the slants of light. The story is supplemented by notes on different pages with facts about the birds such as their nest size, diet, and flight schedule. In addition, a note about ruby-throated hummingbirds supplies readers with detailed information on how ornithologists study and keep track of these birds.

A sweet and endearing feathered migration. (bibliography, index) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0538-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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