AMAZING YOU!

GETTING SMART ABOUT YOUR PRIVATE PARTS

Brightened by sunny, simply drawn cartoons featuring people of several ages and skin shades, this introduction to the reproductive organs is designed as much to allay parental anxiety as to provide answers to younger children’s questions. Saltz, a practicing psychiatrist, describes the male and female set-ups in a light, relaxed tone, suggesting that it’s better to use specific terms rather than euphemisms for visible organs, and tracking physical changes from infancy to adulthood. She steers clear of topics deemed beyond her child audience’s understanding, such as sexual intercourse, or stages of fetal development, and backs up vague allusions to masturbation and privacy boundaries with a closing note in much smaller type. Though urethras are repeatedly mentioned but never illustrated, there are no lists of further information sources, and a description of sperm as looking “sort of like tadpoles” may leave some misapprehensions about their size, this makes an adequate discussion starter for parents with children not yet up to the level of detail in Robie H. Harris’s It’s So Amazing! (1999). (Picture book/nonfiction. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-525-47389-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2005

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Part of a spate of books intent on bringing the garbage collectors in children’s lives a little closer, this almost matches...

TRASHY TOWN

Listeners will quickly take up the percussive chorus—“Dump it in, smash it down, drive around the Trashy town! Is the trash truck full yet? NO”—as they follow burly Mr. Gilly, the garbage collector, on his rounds from park to pizza parlor and beyond.

Flinging cans and baskets around with ease, Mr. Gilly dances happily through streetscapes depicted with loud colors and large, blocky shapes; after a climactic visit to the dump, he roars home for a sudsy bath.

Part of a spate of books intent on bringing the garbage collectors in children’s lives a little closer, this almost matches Eve Merriam’s Bam Bam Bam (1995), also illustrated by Yaccarino, for sheer verbal and visual volume. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: April 30, 1999

ISBN: 0-06-027139-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1999

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ALL BY MYSELF!

Essentially a follow-up to Robert Kraus’s Leo the Late Bloomer (1971) and like tales of developing competency, this follows an exuberant child from morning wash-up to lights out at night, cataloguing the tasks and skills he has mastered. Activities include dressing himself and joining in school activities, choosing his own books, helping with dinner and other household responsibilities, and taking a bath alone before bedtime. In Aliki’s sunny, simplified pictures, it’s a child’s world, seen from low angles and with adults putting in only occasional appearances. Like the lad, the fitfully rhymed text gallops along, sometimes a little too quickly—many illustrations are matched to just a word or two, so viewers aren’t always given much time to absorb one image before being urged on to the next—but underscoring the story’s bustling energy. Young readers and pre-readers will respond enthusiastically to this child’s proud self-assurance, and be prompted to take stock of their own abilities too. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 2000

ISBN: 0-06-028929-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2000

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