A book to be read and remembered: a tribute to children whose lives were lost to forces not of their own creation.

NIÑOS

POEMS FOR THE LOST CHILDREN OF CHILE

An homage to the children killed during the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet.

On Sept. 11, 1973, the democratically elected government of Chile was overthrown by a violent military coup, supported by the CIA. A right-wing authoritarian military dictatorship ruled Chile for the next 17 years. Only when democracy returned to Chile did the world find out how many had died at the hands of the regime. Among that number were 34 children under the age of 14. Ferrada has written a tender poem for each one of these children—most with an uplifting nature theme—as a way of naming them and remembering them. The effect is to reclaim their childhoods: Luz is “a collector of sounds”; Gabriel “likes to imagine that the stars are holes in the sky.” Chillingly, their full names and ages are listed at the end along with the notation killed or, in one case, disappeared. Some were but a few months old; many were just preschoolers. Originally published in Spanish in 2013 for adults, the book is now being reissued for children accompanied by soft-edged artwork done in watercolors, graphite, pastels, charcoal, and colored pencils that lends an ethereal quality. The author points out the importance of telling this story, “knowing that at this moment, many children feel afraid, suffer tragedies, and even lose their lives because of political violence.”

A book to be read and remembered: a tribute to children whose lives were lost to forces not of their own creation. (Poetry. 8-adult)

Pub Date: March 23, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-8028-5567-1

Page Count: 76

Publisher: Eerdmans

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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A substantive and affirming addition to any collection.

THE ABCS OF BLACK HISTORY

An impressive array of names, events, and concepts from Black history are introduced in this alphabet book for early-elementary readers.

From A for anthem (“a banner of song / that wraps us in hope, lets us know we belong”) to Z for zenith (“the top of that mountain King said we would reach”), this picture book is a journey through episodes, ideas, and personalities that represent a wide range of Black experiences. Some spreads celebrate readers themselves, like B for beautiful (“I’m talking to you!”); others celebrate accomplishments, such as E for explore (Matthew Henson, Mae Jemison), or experiences, like G for the Great Migration. The rhyming verses are light on the tongue, making the reading smooth and soothing. The brightly colored, folk art–style illustrations offer vibrant scenes of historical and contemporary Black life, with common people and famous people represented in turn. Whether reading straight through and poring over each page or flipping about to look at the refreshing scenes full of brown and black faces, readers will feel pride and admiration for the resilience and achievements of Black people and a call to participate in the “unfinished…American tale.” Endnotes clarify terms and figures, and a resource list includes child-friendly books, websites, museums, and poems.

A substantive and affirming addition to any collection. (Informational picture book. 6-11)

Pub Date: Dec. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5235-0749-8

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2020

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FALLING UP

Well, finally. In this long-overdue follow-up to A Light In The Attic (1981), Silverstein once again displays the talent for wordplay and idea-play that keeps his poetry evergreen. In bumptious verse that seldom runs more than three or four stanzas, he introduces a gallery of daffy characters, including the Terrible Toy-Eating Tookle, a hamburger named James, blissfully oblivious Headphone Harold, and the so-attractive folk attending the "Rotten Convention''—"Mr. Mud and the Creepin' Crud / And the Drooler and Belchin' Bob,'' to name but a few. The humor has become more alimentary with the years, but the lively, deceptively simple art hasn't changed a bit. Its puzzled-looking young people (with an occasional monster or grimacing grown-up thrown in) provide visual punchlines and make silly situations explicit; a short ten-year-old "grows another foot''—from the top of his head—and a worried child is assured that there's no mouse in her hair (it's an elephant). Readers chortling their way through this inspired assemblage of cautionary tales, verbal hijinks, and thoughtful observations, deftly inserted, will find the temptation to read parts of it aloud irresistible. (index) (Poetry. 7+)

Pub Date: May 31, 1996

ISBN: 0-06-024802-5

Page Count: 176

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1996

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