GIVE ME A SIGN!

WHAT PICTOGRAMS TELL US WITHOUT WORDS

The layout and bright, clear colors in this import from France are attractive and appealing; the text, however, is less than successful. The word pictogram has odd linguistic roots, both Greek and Latin—pictus for painted, and gramma for writing. Samoyault explains that while substituting a picture for an object or idea is as old as writing, pictograms as we know them came into being in 1895, when the Italian Touring Club made the first road signs. Samoyault uses illustrations of the changing Olympic Games pictograms as well as travel and transportation signs, but also includes items—e.g., the ubiquitous laundry symbols on clothing- -that she does not explain or define. There is little consistency in whether a pictogram is actually defined or merely illustrated, or in the length of discussion given to each. The level of the language is also inconsistent. A colorful but mixed effort. (glossary) (Picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-670-87466-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1997

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

MATH CURSE

An unsuspecting student falls victim to the Math Curse when her teacher notes that ``You can think of almost everything as a math problem.'' Suddenly, everything is: ``I wake up at 7:15. It takes me 10 minutes to get dressed, 15 minutes to eat my breakfast, and 1 minute to brush my teeth . . . if my bus leaves at 8:00, will I make it on time?'' If it's not a time problem, it's equivalents (``How many inches in a foot?''), multiplication, nondecimal numbers, money combinations, and more. What's the cure? It comes to her in a dream: A problem with an answer is no problem at all. Smith's big paintings-cum-collage are, as usual, way strange, perfectly complementing the wild, postmodern page design with concatenations of small objects, fragments, and geometric shapes and figures, all placed on dark, grainy backgrounds. Another calculated triumph from the fevered brows that brought forth The Stinky Cheese Man (1992) and other instant classics, this one with a bit of brainwork deftly woven in. Readers can check their answers on the back cover. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-670-86194-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1995

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

This may spark a few imaginations, but its lack of directions and the difficulty level of most of the projects—not to...

WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH ONLY ONE SHOE?

REUSE, RECYCLE, REINVENT

Readers learn how to “Reuse, Recycle, Reinvent” what some might call trash into treasures.  

Rhyming poems each introduce a single way to reuse/reinvent something: A toilet becomes a planter, the titular shoe morphs into a birdhouse, a (very large, nonstandard) light bulb houses a fish, and favorite jeans that are holey? They become a new purse. The most creative has to be a table supported by a pitchfork: “If you’re wanting to picnic on uneven ground, / where your table’s unstable or up on a mound, / stop and think! Be creative! The answer’s around.” While cans, wood and wire are both easily found and transformed into musical instruments, not all these projects use such common materials or are as simple to complete: Half of a boat turns into a covered bench, a car becomes a bed, and a grocery cart transforms into a chair. And although it’s neat to see a farmer’s new watering trough (an enormous tire) and a community’s new playground (an old ambulance anchors it), these are not projects that are likely to fire readers up to do similar things. Cartoon spot illustrations share space with photographs of the new inventions, and both are needed to make sense of the poems.

This may spark a few imaginations, but its lack of directions and the difficulty level of most of the projects—not to mention its failure to impart reasons for reducing, reusing and recycling—make this one to skip. (Poetry. 7-10)

Pub Date: July 15, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-55451-642-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more