A read that affirms reading.

JUST READ!

Apparently, there are many ways to read.

Degman’s first-person text opens with an exultant declaration—“HOORAY! I know how to read on my own!”—but an accompanying, vibrant illustration doesn’t indicate which of the seven diverse children in a book-filled room is the speaker. This question isn’t resolved as the narrative proceeds, “But sometimes I don’t want to do it alone. So… / I read with an astronaut, pirate, or farmer. I read with a clown or a knight wearing armor.” It’s rather confusing that the depicted reading children are reading alone while imagining the astronaut, pirate, farmer, clown, and knight floating above them. Tentler-Krylov’s splashy, stylish, bright watercolors show children reading different sorts of texts in various contexts—road signs, maps, magazines, sheet music, and Braille books. The spread depicting Braille reads, “I read with my fingers across bumpy lines”; across the gutter one child signs to another: “I read with my voice or my hands using signs.” This last line seems a bit off as it positions oral and signed language as texts to be read, but the aim is clearly inclusive. The book culminates in an idyllic scene of children reading in a tree that begs to become a literacy campaign poster. As with many books about reading, it’s not much of a story, but it does mean well.

A read that affirms reading. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4549-2572-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

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A culturally intricate slice of a lupine courier’s life.

¡VAMOS! LET'S GO TO THE MARKET

From the ¡Vamos! series

Little Lobo and his dog, Bernabé, journey through a Mexican mercado delivering diverse goods to a variety of booths.

With the aid of red words splattered throughout the spreads as labels, Raúl the Third gives an introduction to Spanish vocabulary as Little Lobo, an anthropomorphic wolf, leaves his house, fills his cart with objects from his warehouse, and delivers them to the market’s vendors. The journey also serves as a crash course in Mexican culture, as the images are packed with intertextual details such as food, traditional games, and characters, including Cantinflas, Frida Khalo, and Juan Gabriel. Readers acquainted with Raúl the Third’s characters from his Lowriders series with author Cathy Camper will appreciate cameos from familiar characters. As he makes his rounds, Little Lobo also collects different artifacts that people offer in exchange for his deliveries of shoe polish, clothespins, wood, tissue paper, paintbrushes, and a pair of golden laces. Although Raúl the Third departs from the ball-pen illustrations that he is known for, his depiction of creatures and critters peppering the borderland where his stories are set remains in his trademark style. The softer hues in the illustrations (chosen by colorist Bay) keep the busy compositions friendly, and the halftone patterns filling the illustrations create foregrounds and backgrounds reminiscent of Roy Lichtenstein’s pointillism.

A culturally intricate slice of a lupine courier’s life. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-55726-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Versify/HMH

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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RAIN SCHOOL

It takes a village to make a school. In Chad, big brothers and sisters lead the way for younger children on the first day of school. Little Thomas is full of questions. When he and the other children arrive, there are no classrooms and no desks. But the teacher's there, holding a trowel. "We will build our school," she declares. Everyone sets to work, making mud bricks that dry in the sun and a roof out of grass and saplings. Thomas loves his lessons; every day he learns something new. At the end of the school year, the minds of the students "are fat with knowledge." And just in time: The rainy season arrives and makes short work of the schoolhouse. Come September, they'll start all over. Rumford's illustrations make great use of color, dark brown skin and bright shirts, shorts and dresses against golden backgrounds, the hues applied in smudgy layers that infuse each scene with warmth—until the gray rains arrive. It's a nifty social-studies lesson tucked into a warm tale of community. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-547-24307-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 1, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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