A superbly designed book that validates anger and its extreme sibling, rage.

WHEN I SEE RED

From Germany, a story about feeling the emotions of anger and rage.

While there is no gender given for the narrator, the illustrations show a pale-skinned child in a dress, and readers may assume that, since females are often discouraged from showing anger, this book is particularly directed at girls. Paired with evocative, somewhat abstract illustrations that evoke the feelings the narrative exhorts, the child describes being “blinded by fury / …furiously mad.” A little later, “howling / roaring / whistling / … / gushing / pouring / twisting,” the child declares, “Rage unleashes a power I cannot ignore.” The words themselves tumble down the page in large type, and their placement and size, as well as their meaning, are effective at generating the spirit of rage and anger. The transition from the child’s red anger and rage to letting it go is, fabulously, depicted first as crashing waves and then as a panther the child rides astride. The ever smaller type used reiterates this new calm alongside puffy clouds in a blue sky. But while acknowledging that women’s anger is important and vital, this book’s treatment may go over the top. Rage is not the same as anger, since it lacks anger’s control, and a story that validates rage may be validating destructive and self-destructive behavior. That said, the illustrations and the narrative do an outstanding job of delivering their message. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A superbly designed book that validates anger and its extreme sibling, rage. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-3-7913-7494-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Prestel

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2021

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A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre.

SNOW PLACE LIKE HOME

From the Diary of an Ice Princess series

Ice princess Lina must navigate family and school in this early chapter read.

The family picnic is today. This is not a typical gathering, since Lina’s maternal relatives are a royal family of Windtamers who have power over the weather and live in castles floating on clouds. Lina herself is mixed race, with black hair and a tan complexion like her Asian-presenting mother’s; her Groundling father appears to be a white human. While making a grand entrance at the castle of her grandfather, the North Wind, she fails to successfully ride a gust of wind and crashes in front of her entire family. This prompts her stern grandfather to ask that Lina move in with him so he can teach her to control her powers. Desperate to avoid this, Lina and her friend Claudia, who is black, get Lina accepted at the Hilltop Science and Arts Academy. Lina’s parents allow her to go as long as she does lessons with grandpa on Saturdays. However, fitting in at a Groundling school is rough, especially when your powers start freak winter storms! With the story unfurling in diary format, bright-pink–highlighted grayscale illustrations help move the plot along. There are slight gaps in the storytelling and the pacing is occasionally uneven, but Lina is full of spunk and promotes self-acceptance.

A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre. (Fantasy. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 25, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-35393-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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A fitting farewell, still funny, acute, and positive in its view of human nature even in its 37th episode.

HORRIBLE HARRY SAYS GOODBYE

From the Horrible Harry series , Vol. 37

A long-running series reaches its closing chapters.

Having, as Kline notes in her warm valedictory acknowledgements, taken 30 years to get through second and third grade, Harry Spooger is overdue to move on—but not just into fourth grade, it turns out, as his family is moving to another town as soon as the school year ends. The news leaves his best friend, narrator “Dougo,” devastated…particularly as Harry doesn’t seem all that fussed about it. With series fans in mind, the author takes Harry through a sort of last-day-of-school farewell tour. From his desk he pulls a burned hot dog and other items that featured in past episodes, says goodbye to Song Lee and other classmates, and even (for the first time ever) leads Doug and readers into his house and memento-strewn room for further reminiscing. Of course, Harry isn’t as blasé about the move as he pretends, and eyes aren’t exactly dry when he departs. But hardly is he out of sight before Doug is meeting Mohammad, a new neighbor from Syria who (along with further diversifying a cast that began as mostly white but has become increasingly multiethnic over the years) will also be starting fourth grade at summer’s end, and planning a written account of his “horrible” buddy’s exploits. Finished illustrations not seen.

A fitting farewell, still funny, acute, and positive in its view of human nature even in its 37th episode. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Nov. 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-451-47963-1

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

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