Marvelous as a read-aloud and as a springboard to maker projects in classrooms and libraries.

SOMEONE BUILDS THE DREAM

A loving ode to folks who get their hands dirty doing nitty-gritty jobs.

It’s all well and good that visionaries—authors, illustrators, scientists, illustrators, architects, and engineers—plot ideas on paper, easels, blueprints, computers, and blackboards, but thoughts, designs, and plans remain figments until pipe fitters, diggers, solderers, construction workers, carpenters, welders, miners, electricians, plumbers, and countless others get down to business and bring dreams to fruition by actually making what creators envisioned. Skyscrapers and houses don’t rise on their own, and bridges don’t span waterways by themselves. And books don’t get published by magic, either! Who gets those words and pictures—as in this very book kids are reading/hearing—onto pages? Why, typesetters and workers who run the presses and load the paper machines! This is a gorgeous, respectful tribute, expressed in jaunty rhymes that read well, to the dignity and beauty of industry and the pride and pleasure derived from doing one’s best. The word build is repeatedly italicized for emphasis. Crisp, definitively lined illustrations superbly suit the robust theme. They reveal many future-job possibilities to kids and, happily, depict multiple genders and persons of various races plying various blue-collar and professional trades, including a Black woman reading to kids at a library storytime; one character appears in a wheelchair. Tool and vehicle aficionados will feel at home. (This book was reviewed digitally with 8.9-by-22.8-inch double-page spreads viewed at 35.4% of actual size.)

Marvelous as a read-aloud and as a springboard to maker projects in classrooms and libraries. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 23, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-984814-33-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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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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Just the thing for anyone with a Grinch-y tree of their own in the yard.

THE HALLOWEEN TREE

A grouchy sapling on a Christmas tree farm finds that there are better things than lights and decorations for its branches.

A Grinch among the other trees on the farm is determined never to become a sappy Christmas tree—and never to leave its spot. Its determination makes it so: It grows gnarled and twisted and needle-less. As time passes, the farm is swallowed by the suburbs. The neighborhood kids dare one another to climb the scary, grumpy-looking tree, and soon, they are using its branches for their imaginative play, the tree serving as a pirate ship, a fort, a spaceship, and a dragon. But in winter, the tree stands alone and feels bereft and lonely for the first time ever, and it can’t look away from the decorated tree inside the house next to its lot. When some parents threaten to cut the “horrible” tree down, the tree thinks, “Not now that my limbs are full of happy children,” showing how far it has come. Happily for the tree, the children won’t give up so easily, and though the tree never wished to become a Christmas tree, it’s perfectly content being a “trick or tree.” Martinez’s digital illustrations play up the humorous dichotomy between the happy, aspiring Christmas trees (and their shoppers) and the grumpy tree, and the diverse humans are satisfyingly expressive.

Just the thing for anyone with a Grinch-y tree of their own in the yard. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-7335-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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