A story that ends as it begins—colorful, peaceful, and just right for the youngest naturalists.

THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD AND ME

Eye-catching, perspective-shifting illustrations pair beautifully with simple text to embrace a child’s world.

Spare, poetic text offers a steady rhythm that builds from a small flower to a fish, from a cloud to a child, as the story slowly widens its view to encompass the natural world. A young, black-haired, light-skinned girl who presents Asian explores the land, sea, and sky around her, from the smallest bug to the biggest wave. Unafraid, she instead feels connected and reflects: “I am a small part of it all,” embodying curiosity and wonder. Sprawled at the bottom of a hillside, she says, “I’m a pebble that rolls down a mountain,” as a pebble plummets down a mountain peak in the background. Her unbridled joy at interacting with the natural world is infectious, and readers won’t be able to keep their own smiles hidden for long. Collage artwork features ink, charcoal pencil, torn tissue, and cut paper for bright, patterned textures to discover. Bold colors frame but do not overtake the gentle story, and the composition of each spread deserves close attention—Yuly carefully balances white space and color and zooms out from macro focus to wide angle to demonstrate scale and perspective.

A story that ends as it begins—colorful, peaceful, and just right for the youngest naturalists. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9263-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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Adults will do better skipping the book and talking with their children.

AN ABC OF EQUALITY

Social-equity themes are presented to children in ABC format.

Terms related to intersectional inequality, such as “class,” “gender,” “privilege,” “oppression,” “race,” and “sex,” as well as other topics important to social justice such as “feminism,” “human being,” “immigration,” “justice,” “kindness,” “multicultural,” “transgender,” “understanding,” and “value” are named and explained. There are 26 in all, one for each letter of the alphabet. Colorful two-page spreads with kid-friendly illustrations present each term. First the term is described: “Belief is when you are confident something exists even if you can’t see it. Lots of different beliefs fill the world, and no single belief is right for everyone.” On the facing page it concludes: “B is for BELIEF / Everyone has different beliefs.” It is hard to see who the intended audience for this little board book is. Babies and toddlers are busy learning the names for their body parts, familiar objects around them, and perhaps some basic feelings like happy, hungry, and sad; slightly older preschoolers will probably be bewildered by explanations such as: “A value is an expression of how to live a belief. A value can serve as a guide for how you behave around other human beings. / V is for VALUE / Live your beliefs out loud.”

Adults will do better skipping the book and talking with their children. (Board book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-78603-742-8

Page Count: 52

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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Caregivers eager to expose their children to fine art have better choices than this.

ABCS OF ART

From “Apple” to “Zebra,” an alphabet of images drawn from museum paintings.

In an exhibition that recalls similar, if less parochial, ABCs from the Metropolitan Museum of Art (My First ABC, 2009) and several other institutions, Hahn presents a Eurocentric selection of paintings or details to illustrate for each letter a common item or animal—all printed with reasonable clarity and captioned with identifying names, titles, and dates. She then proceeds to saddle each with an inane question (“What sounds do you think this cat is making?” “Where can you find ice?”) and a clumsily written couplet that unnecessarily repeats the artist’s name: “Flowers are plants that blossom and bloom. / Frédéric Bazille painted them filling up this room!” She also sometimes contradicts the visuals, claiming that the horses in a Franz Marc painting entitled “Two Horses, 1912” are ponies, apparently to populate the P page. Moreover, her “X” is an actual X-ray of a Jean-Honoré Fragonard, showing that the artist repainted his subject’s face…interesting but not quite in keeping with the familiar subjects chosen for the other letters.

Caregivers eager to expose their children to fine art have better choices than this. (Informational picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5107-4938-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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