From the peacock on the front cover to the daffodil on the back, this visual treat will inspire budding artists and poets.

BLOOMING BENEATH THE SUN

Adults who fondly remember “Who Has Seen the Wind?” will be delighted to introduce a new generation to some of Rossetti’s child-friendly poems.

Bryan brings fresh life to thirteen of the 19th-century British poet’s least dreary and most accessible poems. Vibrant blossoms on the inside covers hint at the fun inside. This is a celebration of nature and language crafted from cut construction paper. Bryan expands Rossetti’s metaphoric images with unconventional color choices that stretch the imagination. For example, the dog in “Pussy Has a Whiskered Face” is tan, pink, gray, and white, while kitty is all the colors of fire: orange, yellow, brown, and red. Human faces are not limited to shades of brown, black, or tan either. The detailed collages add layers of meaning to each short verse. The eight small collages that illustrate “Color” (at just 16 lines, the longest poem) clearly reference each couplet. Regardless of length, each poem is allotted a double spread. Less-familiar poems include “Mother Shake the Cherry Tree,” “Peacock Has a Score of Eyes,” and “Lie-a-Bed.” Carefully placed text guides readers’ eyes, and contrasting type colors help both titles and text stand out against the bright backgrounds.

From the peacock on the front cover to the daffodil on the back, this visual treat will inspire budding artists and poets. (biographical note) (Picture book/poetry. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 16, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5344-4092-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Caitlyn Dlouhy/Atheneum

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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Self-serving to be sure but also chock-full of worthy values and sentiments.

SUPERHEROES ARE EVERYWHERE

The junior senator from California introduces family and friends as everyday superheroes.

The endpapers are covered with cascades of, mostly, early childhood snapshots (“This is me contemplating the future”—caregivers of toddlers will recognize that abstracted look). In between, Harris introduces heroes in her life who have shaped her character: her mom and dad, whose superpowers were, respectively, to make her feel special and brave; an older neighbor known for her kindness; grandparents in India and Jamaica who “[stood] up for what’s right” (albeit in unspecified ways); other relatives and a teacher who opened her awareness to a wider world; and finally iconic figures such as Thurgood Marshall and Constance Baker Motley who “protected people by using the power of words and ideas” and whose examples inspired her to become a lawyer. “Heroes are…YOU!” she concludes, closing with a bulleted Hero Code and a timeline of her legal and political career that ends with her 2017 swearing-in as senator. In group scenes, some of the figures in the bright, simplistic digital illustrations have Asian features, some are in wheelchairs, nearly all are people of color. Almost all are smiling or grinning. Roe provides everyone identified as a role model with a cape and poses the author, who is seen at different ages wearing an identifying heart pin or decoration, next to each.

Self-serving to be sure but also chock-full of worthy values and sentiments. (Picture book/memoir. 5-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-984837-49-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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The true meaning of the holiday season shines here.

RED AND GREEN AND BLUE AND WHITE

Kids teach a valuable lesson about community spirit.

A city block is ablaze with red and green lights for Christmas; one house glows blue and white for Hanukkah. This is where Isaac, a Jewish boy, lives, across the street from best friend Teresa, excitedly preparing for Christmas. They love lighting up their homes in holiday colors. After an antisemitic bigot smashes a window in Isaac’s house, Isaac relights the menorah the next night, knowing if his family doesn’t, it means hiding their Jewishness, which doesn’t “feel right.” Artistic Teresa supports Isaac by drawing a menorah, inscribed to her friend, and placing the picture in her window. What occurs subsequently is a remarkable demonstration of community solidarity for Isaac and his family from everyone, including the media. Galvanized into defiant action against hate, thousands of townspeople display menorahs in windows in residences and public buildings. This quiet, uplifting tale is inspired by an incident that occurred in Billings, Montana, in 1993. Readers will feel heartened at children’s power to influence others to stand up for justice and defeat vile prejudice. The colorful illustrations, rendered digitally with brushes of the artist’s devising, resemble scratch art. Isaac and Teresa are White, and there is some racial diversity among the townspeople; one child is depicted in a wheelchair. An author’s note provides information about the actual event.

The true meaning of the holiday season shines here. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 19, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-64614-087-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Levine Querido

Review Posted Online: July 30, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

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