A fun, informative window into the experiences of Arabs in the diaspora.

ARAB ARAB ALL YEAR LONG!

What does being Arab mean?

Camper offers 12 charming glimpses into the experience of being Arab in the diaspora, organized across the months of the year and accompanied by heartwarming, loose-lined digital illustrations. Whether “skateboarding in the sun, / or waiting for the bus with our headphones on” or creating a comic to spread awareness of Ramadan at school, the characters are “Arab, Arab, Arab, / the whole year through!” In an author’s note, Camper explains that these stories—a family observing a New Year’s Eve tradition of spotting stars with Arabic names; children and a grandmother making maamoul; a father playing his doumbek—are drawn from her and her friends’ experiences. Supplemented with a glossary, the book doesn’t shy away from politics, with references to the Arab Spring and the Palestinian struggle, and avoids universalizing statements about Arab culture. In the glossary, geddo is only “one way to say grandfather in Arabic.” And Camper’s definition of the hijab is nuanced—she notes that “in the Quran, the Islamic sacred book, God advises both male and female Muslims to dress modestly, and this principle is called hijab. There are many stylish and high-fashion designs for Muslim women’s wear.” Illustrations portray Arabs with different skin tones, hair colors, and dress styles. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A fun, informative window into the experiences of Arabs in the diaspora. (Picture book. 7-11)

Pub Date: June 14, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5362-1395-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: April 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2022

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A stimulating outing to the furthest reaches of our knowledge, certain to inspire deep thoughts.

YOUR PLACE IN THE UNIVERSE

From a Caldecott and Sibert honoree, an invitation to take a mind-expanding journey from the surface of our planet to the furthest reaches of the observable cosmos.

Though Chin’s assumption that we are even capable of understanding the scope of the universe is quixotic at best, he does effectively lead viewers on a journey that captures a sense of its scale. Following the model of Kees Boeke’s classic Cosmic View: The Universe in Forty Jumps (1957), he starts with four 8-year-old sky watchers of average height (and different racial presentations). They peer into a telescope and then are comically startled by the sudden arrival of an ostrich that is twice as tall…and then a giraffe that is over twice as tall as that…and going onward and upward, with ellipses at each page turn connecting the stages, past our atmosphere and solar system to the cosmic web of galactic superclusters. As he goes, precisely drawn earthly figures and features in the expansive illustrations give way to ever smaller celestial bodies and finally to glimmering swirls of distant lights against gulfs of deep black before ultimately returning to his starting place. A closing recap adds smaller images and additional details. Accompanying the spare narrative, valuable side notes supply specific lengths or distances and define their units of measure, accurately explain astronomical phenomena, and close with the provocative observation that “the observable universe is centered on us, but we are not in the center of the entire universe.”

A stimulating outing to the furthest reaches of our knowledge, certain to inspire deep thoughts. (afterword, websites, further reading) (Informational picture book. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4623-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Neal Porter/Holiday House

Review Posted Online: April 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2020

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A well-intentioned book that does not successfully grapple with the complexity and challenge of its subject matter.

COURAGEOUS WORLD CHANGERS

50 TRUE STORIES OF DARING WOMEN OF GOD

Redmond introduces readers to Christian women from all over the world who made an impact on society.

Well-known political activists, athletes, missionaries, and many more are included along with various other strong and brave women who are less known, such as Ni Kwei-Tseng Soong and Christine Caine. Each of these 50 women has a dedicated spread, with a full-page illustration on recto and text on verso that provides readers with a brief history of her childhood. With this background, readers can understand how each woman has come to be celebrated. In each minibiography, the subject is quoted testifying to God’s presence and influence in her life. While a book dedicated to empowered Christian women is enlightening to read, it portrays all of these women uncomplicatedly as heroes. The view of missionary work it presents is outdated and biased, betraying a fundamental lack of cultural respect and appreciation, a point inadvertently driven home in the profile of Narcissa Whitman, a white woman who, as she wrote, worked for the “salvation” of “benighted [American] Indians.” Probably unsurprisingly, the entry on Pocahontas (depicted in a skimpy buckskin dress) does not acknowledge the traditional Powhatan counternarrative that she was kidnapped and raped rather than voluntarily converting to Christianity.

A well-intentioned book that does not successfully grapple with the complexity and challenge of its subject matter. (Collective biography. 7-10)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7369-7734-0

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Harvest House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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