Eurocentric despite stops on each (permanently inhabited) continent, but a bright debut for the Finnish artist.


A one-day world tour strolls through 11 bustling cityscapes—highly stylized but with identifying clues and recognizable landmarks tucked within stacked rows of streets and clusters of buildings.

References in the rhymed commentary to “[t]eeming streets and bhangra beats” or “[c]apoeira dancers whirling” provide location clues, but aside from London, New York, Rio and Paris, most scenes are crowded composites. In one, a gondolier glides between a leaning tower and an erupting volcano; another offers a view of Uluru across a stretch of water near the Sydney Opera House. On each page, three to five small square or rectangular flaps—artfully concealed by landscape or architectural lines—hide glimpses of underground activity, people within structures or other visual surprises. Nieminen’s tiny human figures, all of which are faceless or have black dots for heads, convey a message contrary to Broom’s conclusion “that though we might look different, / underneath we’re just the same.” Still, everyone here from the walking narrator to shopkeepers, sunbathers, ice skaters and window washers (there are a lot of windows) is doing something, and the flat, graphic art’s vibrant colors kick up the collective energy of all that activity.

Eurocentric despite stops on each (permanently inhabited) continent, but a bright debut for the Finnish artist. (Informational novelty. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6895-2

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Big Picture/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Sept. 25, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2013

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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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