Admiration for Anne’s writings is always good to see, but this fanciful cat’s-eye view minimizes the events and the...

THE CAT WHO LIVED WITH ANNE FRANK

The Holocaust through the eyes of a cat.

When Peter joins the Frank family in the Secret Annex, he brings his cat along and it is this cat, named Mouschi, who is the storyteller, narrating in a stylized voice. Mouschi is drawn to Anne and her diary, and unlike the people in hiding, he can explore the Amsterdam neighborhood where he sees “armed Black Spider Soldiers and Dogs patrol, snarl, bark.” The authors reference this description of the swastika to a line spoken by one of the von Trapp children in the movie The Sound of Music. In addition, Mouschi refers to Jews as “Yellow Stars,” which the authors deem “a fine feline fit.” Digitized ink, acrylic, and pencil illustrations use an intense blue for the hideout but present a colorful city and brightly lit nighttime windows, all this despite blackouts enforced during World War II. Brief but inspiring quotations from Anne’s diary are hand-lettered. The authors gloss over the exact horror of the deportations and killings even though, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 107,000 Jews were deported to concentration camps from the Netherlands, with 5,200 surviving. Or as the author’s note unfortunately says: “Many Jews were forced into labor or killed.”

Admiration for Anne’s writings is always good to see, but this fanciful cat’s-eye view minimizes the events and the systematic annihilation. (sources) (Picture book. 8-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-4150-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Nov. 26, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Move over Ramona Quimby, Portland has another neighbor you have to meet!

WAYS TO MAKE SUNSHINE

From the Ryan Hart series , Vol. 1

Ryan Hart is navigating the fourth grade and all its challenges with determination.

Her mom named her Ryan because it means “king,” and she wanted Ryan to feel powerful every time she heard her name; Ryan knows it means she is a leader. So when changes occur or disaster strikes, budding chef Ryan does her best to find the positive and “make sunshine.” When her dad is laid off from the post office, the family must make adjustments that include moving into a smaller house, selling their car, and changing how they shop for groceries. But Ryan gets to stay at Vernon Elementary, and her mom still finds a way to get her the ingredients she needs to practice new recipes. Her older brother, Ray, can be bossy, but he finds little ways to support her, especially when she is down—as does the whole family. Each episodic chapter confronts Ryan with a situation; intermittently funny, frustrating, and touching, they should be familiar and accessible to readers, as when Ryan fumbles her Easter speech despite careful practice. Ryan, her family, and friends are Black, and Watson continues to bring visibility to both Portland, Oregon, generally and its Black community specifically, making another wonderful contribution that allows Black readers to see themselves and all readers to find a character they can love.

Move over Ramona Quimby, Portland has another neighbor you have to meet! (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 28, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5476-0056-4

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Jan. 21, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

A dramatic, educational, authentic whale of a tale.

A WHALE OF THE WILD

After a tsunami devastates their habitat in the Salish Sea, a young orca and her brother embark on a remarkable adventure.

Vega’s matriarchal family expects her to become a hunter and wayfinder, with her younger brother, Deneb, protecting and supporting her. Invited to guide her family to their Gathering Place to hunt salmon, Vega’s underwater miscalculations endanger them all, and an embarrassed Vega questions whether she should be a wayfinder. When the baby sister she hoped would become her life companion is stillborn, a distraught Vega carries the baby away to a special resting place, shocking her grieving family. Dispatched to find his missing sister, Deneb locates Vega in the midst of a terrible tsunami. To escape the waters polluted by shattered boats, Vega leads Deneb into unfamiliar open sea. Alone and hungry, the young siblings encounter a spectacular giant whale and travel briefly with shark-hunting orcas. Trusting her instincts and gaining emotional strength from contemplating the vastness of the sky, Vega knows she must lead her brother home and help save her surviving family. In alternating first-person voices, Vega and Deneb tell their harrowing story, engaging young readers while educating them about the marine ecosystem. Realistic black-and-white illustrations enhance the maritime setting.

A dramatic, educational, authentic whale of a tale. (maps, wildlife facts, tribes of the Salish Sea watershed, environmental and geographical information, how to help orcas, author’s note, artist’s note, resources) (Animal fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-299592-6

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

more