Nothing like a little body shaming to shape young readers’ career expectations.

READ REVIEW

A STEGOSAURUS WOULD NOT MAKE A GOOD PIRATE

From the Dinosaur Daydreams series

An armored, lumbering ex-pirate cheerfully goes over the many reasons why he was “just fired.”

Like other failed job seekers in the Dinosaur Daydreams series, Gary Stego is seen—with prodigious lack of sensitivity—to be unsuited in several ways, largely physical, for his chosen occupation. Beginning with the fact that pirate gear and clothing (including, as the cartoon pictures make clear, underwear) don’t come in his size, he tallies his multiple failures. These include a clumsy spiked tail that leaves the sails in shreds, a mistaken notion of what the “poop deck” is, and an arithmetical inability to count looted coins. Moreover, his preference for salads over salt beef openly disgusts the racially mixed lot of children (mostly) that makes up the rest of the piratical crew in Calvert’s cartoon illustrations. Despite a “Pirate Glossary,” Troupe isn’t much for nautical language (Gary: “No matter where I stood, the ship nearly tipped over”), but he does identify the stego’s spiked tail as a thagomizer, and at the end he slips in some additional dino facts to go with a more conventional portrait of one of Gary’s prehistoric ancestors. What’s next for Gary? How about…brain surgeon? “After all, how hard could it be?”

Nothing like a little body shaming to shape young readers’ career expectations. (review and discussion questions) (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5158-2133-5

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Capstone Young Readers

Review Posted Online: Nov. 13, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Readers (and listeners) will think that this book is the bee’s knees.

THE HONEYBEE

Children will be buzzing to learn more about honeybees after reading this story.

Hall takes her readers on a sunny romp through a springtime pasture abuzz with friendly honeybees in this bright and cheerful picture book. Hall’s rhyme scheme is inviting and mirrors the staccato sounds of a bee buzzing. At times, however, meaning seems to take a back seat to the rhyme. The bees are suggested to “tap” while flying, a noise that adult readers might have trouble explaining to curious listeners. Later, the “hill” the bees return to may elicit further questions, as this point is not addressed textually or visually. Minor quibbles aside, the vocabulary is on-point as the bees demonstrate the various stages of nectar collection and honey creation. Arsenault’s illustrations, a combination of ink, gouache, graphite, and colored pencil, are energetic and cheerful. Extra points should be awarded for properly illustrating a natural honeybee hive (as opposed to the often depicted wasp nest). The expressive bees are also well-done. Their faces are welcoming, but their sharp noses hint at the stingers that may be lurking behind them. Hall’s ending note to readers will be appreciated by adults but will require their interpretation to be accessible to children. A sensible choice for read-alouds and STEAM programs.

Readers (and listeners) will think that this book is the bee’s knees. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: May 8, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4814-6997-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The outing may earn a few clicks from hand-wringing parents; young digerati will roll their eyes and go back to texting.

TEK

THE MODERN CAVE BOY

McDonnell has a bone to pick with a young Stone Age gamer who won’t leave the family cave.

The Caldecott Honor–winning cartoonist takes an uncharacteristically curmudgeonly tone in this tablet-shaped book. Depicted, in black-framed, rounded-cornered illustrations designed to look like screenshots, in front of the stone TV with tablet and game controller to hand “all day, all night, all the time,” Tek ignores the pleas of his huge dino best friend, Larry, and all others to come out. “You should never have invented the Internet,” his mom grunts to his dad. Having missed out on evolution and an entire Ice Age, Tek is finally disconnected by a helpful volcano’s eruption—and of course is completely reformed once he gets a gander at the warm sun, cool grass, and an “awesome Awesomesaurus.” “Sweet.” Afterward, in joyous full-bleed paintings, he frolics with Larry by day and reaches for the “glorious stars” by night. This screed is as subtle as a tap from a stone axe. James Proimos’ Todd’s TV (2010) and If You Give a Mouse an iPhone by “Ann Droyd” (2014) are funnier; Matthew Cordell’s buoyant Hello! Hello! (2012) is more likely to spark a bit of behavior change. Tek and his parents are reminiscent of the Flintstones, with pink skin and dark, frizzy hair.

The outing may earn a few clicks from hand-wringing parents; young digerati will roll their eyes and go back to texting. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 4, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-316-33805-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more