Astonishing artwork shines.

ADA AND THE GALAXIES

Ada, a city child, arrives at her grandparents’ Maine cottage hoping to finally see stars in a night sky—one unobscured by urban lights and buildings.

Alongside Ama and Poobah, Ada kayaks, examines moss, handles shells, spots a crab, and marvels at an osprey’s nest, thinking of her stars all the while. Poobah tells her to watch the tidal waterline on a rock to track time; when the rock disappears, night has fallen. Lively, masterful watercolor illustrations capture Maine’s exhilarating currents of wind and water, its spiky evergreen needles, knobby seaweed, and bristly bird feathers. They convey Ada’s emotions too, through vignettes of her agonized squirms when evening fog blankets the stars. Chapman’s impressive specificity dissolves in a magical, breathtaking spread of the fog, hovering all around the cottage at dusk, a murky, muted diffusion of evening light and moisture. Readers feel they’re sitting alongside Ada as Poobah opens a book on galaxies to ameliorate her frustration, and together they admire real, seamlessly incorporated pictures photographed by the Hubble telescope. Ada twirls, emulating the swirl of a galaxy; she notes a crab in the shape of a constellation. Young readers will delight in seeing our universe’s interconnectedness, and, later, when Ada’s family dashes outside to spin in starlight, they will recognize the inextricable bonds among loved ones. All family members have light-brown skin and curly brown hair.

Astonishing artwork shines. (further information) (Picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5362-1561-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: MIT Kids Press/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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Good-hearted fun—great for fans of Kit Feeny and Babymouse.

MEET THE BIGFEET

From the Yeti Files series , Vol. 1

It’s a Bigfeet family reunion!

Everyone’s favorite frosty, furry cryptid, the yeti, actually has a name: Blizz Richards. From his supersecret HQ in Nepal he keeps in touch with his fellow cryptids, all of whom have sworn an oath to keep themselves hidden. That’s not always easy, especially when there are cryptozoologists, like the nasty (but bumbling) George Vanquist, who are always trying to expose the secretive creatures. Vanquist got a picture of Blizz’s cousin Brian near his home in British Columbia, causing the mortified Brian to disappear entirely. When Blizz receives an invitation to a Bigfeet family reunion in Canada, he calls his buddies Alexander (one of Santa’s elves), Gunthar (a goblin) and Frank the Arctic fox to help him get ready. When they arrive in Canada, Brian is still nowhere to be seen. Can Blizz and his skunk ape and other sasquatch cousins find Brian, have the reunion and evade Vanquist? If anyone can, the Bigfeet clan can. Illustrator Sherry’s first volume in the Yeti Files is a fast and funny graphic-prose tale full of labeled pictures and comic-style panels. Those just starting chapter books may have some trouble with a few big words, but they’ll enjoy the big friendly monsters and immediately ask for the next tale—which looks to be about the Loch Ness monster.

Good-hearted fun—great for fans of Kit Feeny and Babymouse. (Graphic/fantasy hybrid. 7-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-55617-0

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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A lighthearted read that will offer comfort to young children that others too face challenges of friendship, teamwork and...

PARKER BELL AND THE SCIENCE OF FRIENDSHIP

In her debut chapter book, Platt shares the story of a young girl navigating friendships and the challenges of trying to win her school’s science triathlon.

Young Parker Bell is a curious child who loves science and aspires to match up to Mae Jemison and Jane Goodall one day. Her best friend and partner in science is coding whiz Cassie Malouf. They have been best friends since kindergarten, but Parker gets jealous when Cassie suddenly starts becoming friendly with Theo Zachary, a shy boy in their class. Parker worries that Cassie likes Theo more than her, and she fights hard to keep her friend. Matters only get worse when Cassie invites Theo to be part of their team for the science triathlon, which features a science trivia contest, an egg drop, and a presentation. In a somewhat predictable plot, Parker realizes she has a lot in common with Theo as she spends more time with him. Platt works hard to defy gender stereotypes. In addition to the girls’ STEM enthusiasm, Parker’s mom teaches phys ed, her dad owns a bakery, and Cassie’s mom teaches math. Zhai’s simple black-and-white illustrations of Parker, Cassie, and the classrooms provide a good visual aid to the story, depicting Parker and Theo as white and Cassie with dark skin and long black hair.

A lighthearted read that will offer comfort to young children that others too face challenges of friendship, teamwork and competition. (Fiction. 6-10)

Pub Date: May 21, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-97347-4

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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