SERGIO AND THE HURRICANE

When Sergio of San Juan, Puerto Rico, hears a storm is coming, he hopes it will be a hurricane. This appealing picture book demonstrates that even this wildest of storms can make warm family memories as it combines useful information while presenting a charming story. The artist keeps the gouache illustrations upbeat with clean, white spaces, delicate lines, and cheerful reds and yellows used in almost every painting. The storm is dramatic and stylized with washing green waves frosted with foam, and driving rain shown as diagonal blue lines hatching the entire picture. The author ably captures the voice of Sergio, a child too young to remember the devastation of a past hurricane, who views the coming storm as an exciting adventure. He trails after the grown-ups as they tape up windows, purchase emergency supplies, and cut the coconuts off the palm trees. Later, when rain drums on the roof, waves as tall as hills slam into the seawall across the street, and the hurricane gets wilder, Sergio gets scared and crawls into bed with Mom and Dad, and they tell stories of storms past. When the storm is over, the sun shines and the sea is calm, but there is a lot of damage to clean up: smashed furniture, uprooted trees, flooded streets, downed power lines, and clogged drainage pipes. The family works together without complaint to set things right. They are even cheerful about taking a shower in the rain to conserve water. The whole family is shown, tastefully concealed by palm fronds, singing and shampooing in the rain. This upbeat story about a loving Puerto Rican family will strike a reassuring chord. (author’s notes on hurricanes) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-8050-6203-3

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2000

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Informative, empowering, and fun.

ROX'S SECRET CODE

Girl power abounds in this book about coding that introduces young readers to the world of programming while offering them hands-on activities via a companion app.

In this title that was first introduced as a customizable, personalized print-on-demand product, Rox has a superpower. Using code, she programs toy robots that can do things like make broccoli disappear—or mischief. When Dad tells Rox to clean her room, she quickly thinks up a bot that will do it for her, writing code that instructs her bot to use artificial intelligence to sort objects by color and type. Though Rox knows that there’s a high potential for her creation to rebel, the perks outweigh any potential adverse effects. Rox’s robot has her room neat and tidy in no time—and then the entire home. Chorebot’s AI allows it to keep learning, and it seems Chorebot can do no wrong until the robot decides to rearrange the entire city (both buildings and people) by type, style, and gender. Chorebot goes “out of his artificial mind!” Rox must now stop her creation…without the assistance of the internet. The artwork, styled in the tradition of popular superhero series, is peppy and colorful, and it depicts Rox as an adorable black girl donning a black bomber jacket and a pink tutu. A companion app (not available for review) allows readers to create a bot of their own.

Informative, empowering, and fun. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-57687-899-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: POW!

Review Posted Online: Sept. 2, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

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HELLO, HARVEST MOON

As atmospheric as its companion, Twilight Comes Twice, this tone poem pairs poetically intense writing with luminescent oils featuring widely spaced houses, open lawns, and clumps of autumnal trees, all lit by a huge full moon. Fletcher tracks that moon’s nocturnal path in language rich in metaphor: “With silent slippers / it climbs the night stairs,” “staining earth and sky with a ghostly glow,” lighting up a child’s bedroom, the wings of a small plane, moonflowers, and, ranging further afield, harbor waves and the shells of turtle hatchlings on a beach. Using creamy brushwork and subtly muted colors, Kiesler depicts each landscape, each night creature from Luna moths to a sleepless child and her cat, as well as the great moon sweeping across star-flecked skies, from varied but never vertiginous angles. Closing with moonset, as dawn illuminates the world with a different kind of light, this makes peaceful reading either in season, or on any moonlit night. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2003

ISBN: 0-618-16451-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2003

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