I AM A WARRIOR GODDESS

A girl recites ambiguous but positive affirmations as she goes through her daily routine.

A white girl wearing black capris and a layered top stands on a rock surrounded by sunflowers. Hands on hips in a confidence-boosting Wonder Woman pose, she breaks the fourth wall and smiles at readers, proclaiming (over four consecutive double-page spreads), “I am a warrior goddess. / Each day I greet the sun / and the earth / and the wind.” In the following spreads, readers see her flying a kite, planting a tree, and raising her arms to the sun before leading classmates in the rescue of a stranded cat or the gift of flowers to a friend. Not all of the metaphor carries—it’s unclear, for example, when she hangs from a tree branch and notes, “I train my body for battle” before moving to the school library, where she “train[s her] mind for battle, too,” what the “battle” actually is—but those looking to make meaning from the text will find it. Lemniscates’ mixed-media collage, too, does little to clarify Adams’ use of “warrior” within the somewhat diverse rural setting. However, the use of highly saturated, calming colors and firm horizon lines fosters a serenity befitting the reassuring (if vague) text.

Unextraordinary. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68364-005-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sounds True

Review Posted Online: Nov. 22, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2017

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An adorable adventure in cartography.

CAMILLA, CARTOGRAPHER

An exercise of spatial thinking through a snowy forest.

Camilla the warthog collects maps. Maps of stars, New York, even the London Tube. She even owns an ancient map of her forest. Unfortunately for her, she believes all lands have been explored and there is nothing new to chart. However, with a snowy morning comes a new opportunity. When her hedgehog neighbor, Parsley, asks for her help in finding the creek, Camilla quivers with excitement when she realizes the snow-covered land “is uncharted territory.” With all landmarks covered in snow, Camilla and Parsley must use their spatial-reasoning skills and a compass to find a new way to the creek. Their trailblazing journey proves a challenge as they keep bumping into trees, rocks, and walls. But when they find the creek, Camilla will have all the information and tools ready to draw out a new map, to break out in case of another snowfall. Wood’s delightful illustrations and Dillemuth’s expertise in the matter engage readers in the woodland creatures’ adventures. In addition, Dillemuth, who holds a doctorate in geography, provides activities in the backmatter for parents and caregivers to help children develop their own spatial-reasoning skills, such as sketching and reading maps or using cardinal directions.

An adorable adventure in cartography. (author’s note) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4338-3033-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Magination/American Psychological Association

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way.

NOAH CHASES THE WIND

A young boy sees things a little differently than others.

Noah can see patterns in the dust when it sparkles in the sunlight. And if he puts his nose to the ground, he can smell the “green tang of the ants in the grass.” His most favorite thing of all, however, is to read. Noah has endless curiosity about how and why things work. Books open the door to those answers. But there is one question the books do not explain. When the wind comes whistling by, where does it go? Noah decides to find out. In a chase that has a slight element of danger—wind, after all, is unpredictable—Noah runs down streets, across bridges, near a highway, until the wind lifts him off his feet. Cowman’s gusty wisps show each stream of air turning a different jewel tone, swirling all around. The ribbons gently bring Noah home, setting him down under the same thinking tree where he began. Did it really happen? Worthington’s sensitive exploration leaves readers with their own set of questions and perhaps gratitude for all types of perspective. An author’s note mentions children on the autism spectrum but widens to include all who feel a little different.

An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60554-356-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Redleaf Lane

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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