Show kids the world is their oyster by giving them this thought-provoking book.

SHOW THE WORLD!

An empowering picture book encourages children to develop their own voice, style, and personality in order to make an impact in the world.

A young Black girl invites young readers to “look around” at the world and reflect on what they will “do.../ or say.../ or make... / to express who you are.” With a camera in hand, she visits various places in her neighborhood—an art gallery, a sewing studio, and a planetarium, to name a few—and observes the many ways in which kids in her community are expressing themselves. Readers see another girl painting a mural, a boy with dreadlocks spinning music at a turntable, a marching band practicing, a choir singing, a spoken word artist performing, dancers and hula-hoopers in the park, and more. “Maybe your creative space is blank... / patiently waiting for you to fill it with powerful text” reads a double-page spread showing kids making signs for—and then participating in—a street protest. Another double-page spread shows kids getting their hair styled in a salon, and the text asks “Are you the canvas?” A current of lyricism runs through Dalton’s narrative, which is thoughtful and inquisitory (“Is there a place where you shine? A space you / fill with all the things that inspire you?”), reminding kids to take their time and reflect carefully as they figure out who they are and what they want to share with the world. Peoples’ artwork, rendered using oil on paper and illustration board, is reminiscent of child art and fittingly draws attention to itself as a created work through the use of painterly textures. All characters are Black.

Show kids the world is their oyster by giving them this thought-provoking book. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-35139-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Dec. 16, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

As insubstantial as hot air.

THE WORLD NEEDS WHO YOU WERE MADE TO BE

A diverse cast of children first makes a fleet of hot air balloons and then takes to the sky in them.

Lifestyle maven Gaines uses this activity as a platform to celebrate diversity in learning and working styles. Some people like to work together; others prefer a solo process. Some take pains to plan extensively; others know exactly what they want and jump right in. Some apply science; others demonstrate artistic prowess. But “see how beautiful it can be when / our differences share the same sky?” Double-page spreads leading up to this moment of liftoff are laid out such that rhyming abcb quatrains typically contain one or two opposing concepts: “Some of us are teachers / and share what we know. / But all of us are learners. / Together is how we grow!” In the accompanying illustration, a bespectacled, Asian-presenting child at a blackboard lectures the other children on “balloon safety.” Gaines’ text has the ring of sincerity, but the sentiment is hardly an original one, and her verse frequently sacrifices scansion for rhyme. Sometimes it abandons both: “We may not look / or work or think the same, / but we all have an / important part to play.” Swaney’s delicate, pastel-hued illustrations do little to expand on the text, but they are pretty. (This book was reviewed digitally with 11.2-by-18.6-inch double-page spreads viewed at 70.7% of actual size.)

As insubstantial as hot air. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4003-1423-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tommy Nelson

Review Posted Online: Jan. 19, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The dynamic interaction between the characters invites readers to take risks, push boundaries, and have a little unscripted...

CLAYMATES

Reinvention is the name of the game for two blobs of clay.

A blue-eyed gray blob and a brown-eyed brown blob sit side by side, unsure as to what’s going to happen next. The gray anticipates an adventure, while the brown appears apprehensive. A pair of hands descends, and soon, amid a flurry of squishing and prodding and poking and sculpting, a handsome gray wolf and a stately brown owl emerge. The hands disappear, leaving the friends to their own devices. The owl is pleased, but the wolf convinces it that the best is yet to come. An ear pulled here and an extra eye placed there, and before you can shake a carving stick, a spurt of frenetic self-exploration—expressed as a tangled black scribble—reveals a succession of smug hybrid beasts. After all, the opportunity to become a “pig-e-phant” doesn’t come around every day. But the sound of approaching footsteps panics the pair of Picassos. How are they going to “fix [them]selves” on time? Soon a hippopotamus and peacock are staring bug-eyed at a returning pair of astonished hands. The creative naiveté of the “clay mates” is perfectly captured by Petty’s feisty, spot-on dialogue: “This was your idea…and it was a BAD one.” Eldridge’s endearing sculpted images are photographed against the stark white background of an artist’s work table to great effect.

The dynamic interaction between the characters invites readers to take risks, push boundaries, and have a little unscripted fun of their own . (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 20, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-316-30311-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

more