A feel-good, pay-it-forward story about sowing seeds and harvesting harmony.


Building community supplants the despair Rodrigo feels after a tornado destroys the ranch and home he inherited from his family.

The disaster leaves him devastated, with only a “little savings” and memories of familial love to sustain him. The soil is as cracked and “dry as his soul.” One morning, he awakens in a sunbeam, remembering his father’s encouragement: “You’ve got to keep going, it’s all we can do!” Inspired, Rodrigo digs, uncovering broken tools and signs of soil life. He buys seeds and new tools. With care, plants grow, reinvigorating Rodrigo with hope. Gradually, visitors drop by, and a sharing economy begins: organic produce in exchange for “a few coins, clothes, or other things to help him out.” As the land’s fertility increases, Rodrigo needs helpers and so begins providing opportunities for others. Poignantly, his generosity begets returns as the farm becomes a community: “a place where people in need came for help: a place where they could heal the wounds that nobody could see.” The farm supplies stores, restaurants, and its own farm stand; proceeds enable Rodrigo and friends to build a house for diverse workers and volunteers: “their own home.” Agreeable illustrations depict Rodrigo as a thin young man with light-brown skin, large ears, short, black hair, and triangular eyebrows. Díez uses blues and greens for crops, sky, and clothing, visually reinforcing themes of community and sustainability. This import from Spain publishes simultaneously in the U.S. with its original, Spanish-language edition.

A feel-good, pay-it-forward story about sowing seeds and harvesting harmony. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 10, 2021

ISBN: 978-84-18302-32-9

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Cuento de Luz

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The dynamic interaction between the characters invites readers to take risks, push boundaries, and have a little unscripted...


Reinvention is the name of the game for two blobs of clay.

A blue-eyed gray blob and a brown-eyed brown blob sit side by side, unsure as to what’s going to happen next. The gray anticipates an adventure, while the brown appears apprehensive. A pair of hands descends, and soon, amid a flurry of squishing and prodding and poking and sculpting, a handsome gray wolf and a stately brown owl emerge. The hands disappear, leaving the friends to their own devices. The owl is pleased, but the wolf convinces it that the best is yet to come. An ear pulled here and an extra eye placed there, and before you can shake a carving stick, a spurt of frenetic self-exploration—expressed as a tangled black scribble—reveals a succession of smug hybrid beasts. After all, the opportunity to become a “pig-e-phant” doesn’t come around every day. But the sound of approaching footsteps panics the pair of Picassos. How are they going to “fix [them]selves” on time? Soon a hippopotamus and peacock are staring bug-eyed at a returning pair of astonished hands. The creative naiveté of the “clay mates” is perfectly captured by Petty’s feisty, spot-on dialogue: “This was your idea…and it was a BAD one.” Eldridge’s endearing sculpted images are photographed against the stark white background of an artist’s work table to great effect.

The dynamic interaction between the characters invites readers to take risks, push boundaries, and have a little unscripted fun of their own . (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 20, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-316-30311-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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


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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet