Though it treads perilously close to inspirational blandness, this book will serve to comfort those seeking friends of their...


The concept of friendship earns itself another tribute picture book, this time with crisp, stunning photographs to match.

“There, in the crowd, is someone— / who likes the things you like.” Brief text reassures readers that there’s a friend somewhere out there for everybody and then lists all the things such a pal could do as well as the additional benefits of what such a friendship would bring. All told, the text is a pep talk to the lonely, promising great companionship to come. Its near platitudes are ameliorated by the book’s eye-popping photographs of children and adults in 18 different countries. The backmatter includes a map of the world indicating where the photos were taken, quotes on friendship by Ralph Waldo Emerson, C.S. Lewis, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and a note to parents and caregivers that includes Web resources with “ideas on helping your kids make friends” as well as “resources on bullying.” The result is a book that seems to hope to serve a very specific type of reader—the lonely kind—while also reaching for universality. Perhaps surprisingly, in the end it works, the world photography going a long way toward supporting its overarching goal.

Though it treads perilously close to inspirational blandness, this book will serve to comfort those seeking friends of their own and inspire others to expand their friendship circles. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: May 12, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4263-1905-1

Page Count: 48

Publisher: National Geographic

Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2015

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An all-day sugar rush, putting the “fun” back into, er, education.


A young visionary describes his ideal school: “Perfectly planned and impeccably clean. / On a scale, 1 to 10, it’s more like 15!”

In keeping with the self-indulgently fanciful lines of If I Built a Car (2005) and If I Built a House (2012), young Jack outlines in Seussian rhyme a shiny, bright, futuristic facility in which students are swept to open-roofed classes in clear tubes, there are no tests but lots of field trips, and art, music, and science are afterthoughts next to the huge and awesome gym, playground, and lunchroom. A robot and lots of cute puppies (including one in a wheeled cart) greet students at the door, robotically made-to-order lunches range from “PB & jelly to squid, lightly seared,” and the library’s books are all animated popups rather than the “everyday regular” sorts. There are no guards to be seen in the spacious hallways—hardly any adults at all, come to that—and the sparse coed student body features light- and dark-skinned figures in roughly equal numbers, a few with Asian features, and one in a wheelchair. Aside from the lack of restrooms, it seems an idyllic environment—at least for dog-loving children who prefer sports and play over quieter pursuits.

An all-day sugar rush, putting the “fun” back into, er, education. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-55291-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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            There are many parallel legends – the seal women, for example, with their strange sad longings – but none is more direct than this American Indian story of a girl who is carried away in a horses’ stampede…to ride thenceforth by the side of a beautiful stallion who leads the wild horses.  The girl had always loved horses, and seemed to understand them “in a special way”; a year after her disappearance her people find her riding beside the stallion, calf in tow, and take her home despite his strong resistance.  But she is unhappy and returns to the stallion; after that, a beautiful mare is seen riding always beside him.  Goble tells the story soberly, allowing it to settle, to find its own level.  The illustrations are in the familiar striking Goble style, but softened out here and there with masses of flowers and foliage – suitable perhaps for the switch in subject matter from war to love, but we miss the spanking clean design of Custer’s Last Battle and The Fetterman Fight.          6-7

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1978

ISBN: 0689845049

Page Count: -

Publisher: Bradbury

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1978

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