A rare misfire from Sayre.

CITYSCAPE

WHERE SCIENCE AND ART MEET

An eclectic collection of photos of architecture is linked by simple rhymes in large type, highlighting the visual confluence of engineering and art.

A photo depicting electrical wires against a building with corrugated siding is accompanied by the text “Lines merge, / diverge, divide,” followed by “Science, math, art / live side by side” on the facing page, accompanying photos of a statue of a lion, a tiled wall, and a close-up of a grille of some sort. Similarly, curves, triangles, and other geometric elements are evoked in photos of skyscrapers, bridges, cranes, and sculpture. In places, the concept seems too advanced for the likely audience. “Structures transmit,” set against a photo of electrical transformers, is shown opposite the text “transport, / and power,” which accompanies four photos: of people riding a Vespa, a fire engine, an overhead view of a recreational kayaker, and a view of the U.S. Capitol with a school bus in the foreground. Readers will be understandably confused as they try to parse this sentence. Are the scooter, fire engine, and kayak to be read as “structures”? Is the picture of the Capitol dome a play on the word “power”? Most of the generic cityscape images seem to be of Chicago, with landmark structures from Machu Picchu, London, Paris, and other cities mixed in. A concluding spread contains questions for children to consider as they navigate cities.

A rare misfire from Sayre. (Informational picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: May 19, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-289331-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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A solid introduction to fascinating artists, some familiar, others less so.

WOMEN ARTISTS A TO Z

Contemporary and historical female artists are showcased for younger readers.

The artists’ names aren’t presented in A-to-Z order. The alphabetical arrangement actually identifies signature motifs (“D is for Dots” for Yayoi Kusama); preferred media (“I is for Ink” for Elizabeth Catlett); or cultural, natural, or personal motives underlying artworks (“N is for Nature” for Maya Lin). Various media are covered, such as painting, box assemblage, collage, photography, pottery, and sculpture. One artist named isn’t an individual but rather the Gee’s Bend Collective, “generations of African American women in Gee’s Bend, Alabama,” renowned for quilting artistry. Each artist and her or their work is introduced on a double-page spread that features succinct descriptions conveying much admiring, easily comprehensible information. Colorful illustrations include graphically simplified representations of the women at work or alongside examples of their art; the spreads provide ample space for readers to understand what the artists produced. Several women were alive when this volume was written; some died in the recent past or last century; two worked several hundred years ago, when female artists were rare. Commendably, the profiled artists are very diverse: African American, Latina, Native American, Asian, white, and multiethnic women are represented; this diversity is reflected in their work, as explained via texts and illustrations.

A solid introduction to fascinating artists, some familiar, others less so. (minibiographies, discussion questions, art suggestions) (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 11, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-10872-7

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2020

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Both playful and enlightening, period.

A BUNCH OF PUNCTUATION

A collection of peppy poems and clever pictures explains different forms of punctuation.

Rebecca Kai Dotlich’s “A Punctuation Tale” kicks off the proceedings with a punny description of a day full of punctuation; goodnight is “cuddled / in quotation marks.” Ensuing poems discuss the comma, the apostrophe, the dash (“A subdued dude / in tweet and text / he signals what / is coming next”), the colon, the exclamation point, and ellipses. Allan Wolf’s poem about this last is called “…” and begins, “The silent ellipsis… / replaces…words missed.” Prince Redcloud’s “Question Marks” is particularly delightful, with the question “Why?” dancing diagonally down in stair steps. The emphatic answer is a repeated “Because!” Other poems pay tribute to quotation marks, the hyphen, and the period. Michele Kruger explains “The Purpose of Parentheses”: “inside a pair / ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) / of slender curves / we’ll hold your few / inserted words.” The final poem is editor Hopkins’ own, “Lines Written for You to Think About” (inspired by Carl Sandburg), urging young readers to write their own verses employing (what else?) punctuation. The 12 poets included work with a variety of devices and styles for an always-fresh feel. Bloch’s illustrations are delightfully surprising, both illustrating each poem’s key points and playfully riffing on the punctuation itself.

Both playful and enlightening, period. (Picture book/poetry. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-59078-994-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Wordsong/Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2018

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