GO SHOW THE WORLD

A CELEBRATION OF INDIGENOUS HEROES

A little rough but ultimately a beautiful celebration of Indigenous excellence.

Kinew uses lyrical language to pay tribute to Indigenous heroes and leaders of North America.

In his picture-book debut, Canadian politician and musician Kinew (Ojibways of Onigaming First Nation) aims to uplift and inspire youth, especially Indigenous youth. Readers learn about historical figures such as Sac and Fox athlete Jim Thorpe, Omaha doctor Susan LaFlesche Picotte, and Mohawk Olympian Waneek Horn-Miller, who was wounded by a soldier during the Oka crisis. Touching on topics of Creation, Indian boarding schools, and the anti–Dakota Access Pipeline movement, this book has a broad reach. Though the lines in verse are occasionally awkward, Kinew packs a great deal of power into just a few words: “We are people who matter. / Yes, it’s true. / Now let’s show the world what people who matter can do.” That being said, the spread honoring Sacagawea unquestioningly portrays her as a willing agent in American imperialism, which it celebrates by implication: “Under starry nights west Sacagawea led / Lewis and Clark, so America could spread. / Plus she healed them when they were almost dead. / The men got the credit, but should she have instead?” Morse’s watercolor, digital color, and collage illustrations are masterful. Long limbs and necks, powerful hands, and photorealistic details are characteristic of his style. Most figures are either facing readers or moving towards the right, creating a flow that suggests looking forward to a bright and hopeful future.

A little rough but ultimately a beautiful celebration of Indigenous excellence. (author’s note, biographies) (Informational picture book. 5-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 11, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7352-6292-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Tundra Books

Review Posted Online: July 31, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

I WISH YOU MORE

Although the love comes shining through, the text often confuses in straining for patterned simplicity.

A collection of parental wishes for a child.

It starts out simply enough: two children run pell-mell across an open field, one holding a high-flying kite with the line “I wish you more ups than downs.” But on subsequent pages, some of the analogous concepts are confusing or ambiguous. The line “I wish you more tippy-toes than deep” accompanies a picture of a boy happily swimming in a pool. His feet are visible, but it's not clear whether he's floating in the deep end or standing in the shallow. Then there's a picture of a boy on a beach, his pockets bulging with driftwood and colorful shells, looking frustrated that his pockets won't hold the rest of his beachcombing treasures, which lie tantalizingly before him on the sand. The line reads: “I wish you more treasures than pockets.” Most children will feel the better wish would be that he had just the right amount of pockets for his treasures. Some of the wordplay, such as “more can than knot” and “more pause than fast-forward,” will tickle older readers with their accompanying, comical illustrations. The beautifully simple pictures are a sweet, kid- and parent-appealing blend of comic-strip style and fine art; the cast of children depicted is commendably multiethnic.

Although the love comes shining through, the text often confuses in straining for patterned simplicity. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4521-2699-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2015

JAKE THE FAKE KEEPS IT REAL

From the Jake the Fake series , Vol. 1

A fast and funny alternative to the Wimpy Kid.

Black sixth-grader Jake Liston can only play one song on the piano. He can’t read music very well, and he can’t improvise. So how did Jake get accepted to the Music and Art Academy? He faked it.

Alongside an eclectic group of academy classmates, and with advice from his best friend, Jake tries to fit in at a school where things like garbage sculpting and writing art reviews of bird poop splatter are the norm. All is well until Jake discovers that the end-of-the-semester talent show is only two weeks away, and Jake is short one very important thing…talent. Or is he? It’s up to Jake to either find the talent that lies within or embarrass himself in front of the entire school. Light and humorous, with Knight’s illustrations adding to the fun, Jake’s story will likely appeal to many middle-grade readers, especially those who might otherwise be reluctant to pick up a book. While the artsy antics may be over-the-top at times, this is a story about something that most preteens can relate to: the struggle to find your authentic self. And in a world filled with books about wanting to fit in with the athletically gifted supercliques, this novel unabashedly celebrates the artsy crowd in all of its quirky, creative glory.

A fast and funny alternative to the Wimpy Kid. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: March 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-553-52351-5

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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