Paired throughout with Preston-Gannon’s evocative, vibrantly textured digital illustrations, Waters’ superbly curated poems...

SING A SONG OF SEASONS

A NATURE POEM FOR EACH DAY OF THE YEAR

A year’s worth of nature poems and illustrations for all ages in a massive collaboration between two Brits.

Measuring approximately 10 by 11 inches high and over 1 inch thick, Waters’ collected 366 lyric selections hail from more than 90 poets recognized as pillars of the Western canon—Shakespeare, Dickinson, Wordsworth, Blake, Cummings—as well as a handful of poets from other cultures as well as modern children’s stalwarts. While the age-old celebration of seasons and passage of time must be among the most common ways nature anthologies are organized, what sets this collection apart is how the differing perspectives work together. Waters makes sure, whether nature’s many creatures or states of being happen to be personified or objectified, that the unifying themes of environmental conservation and respect for creatures great and small (“Hurt no living thing,” advises Christina Rossetti) come clearly across. This isn’t to say the volume doesn’t offer numerous examples of light verse, such as Tony Mitton’s salute to a plum—“Don’t feel beaten. / You were made / to be eaten”—or selections from fun masters Ogden Nash and JonArno Lawson. Alongside these playful stanzas are hundreds of reflective poems, showcasing natural wonders often with mere syllables, as in “White Sound” by Julie O’Callaghan: “When rain / whispers / it is snow.”

Paired throughout with Preston-Gannon’s evocative, vibrantly textured digital illustrations, Waters’ superbly curated poems offer something for everyone: majestic and inspiring as nature itself. (Poetry. 5-adult)

Pub Date: Oct. 9, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0247-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2018

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Engaging, well-chosen images and a clear, coherent text illuminate the importance of empathy for the world’s inhabitants.

A WORLD TOGETHER

Large color photographs (occasionally composed of montages) and accessible, simple text highlight global similarities and differences, always focusing on our universal connections.

While child readers may not recognize Manzano, the Puerto Rican actress who played Maria on Sesame Street, adults will recognize her as a trusted diverse voice. In her endnote, she explains her desire to “encourage lively conversations about shared experiences.” Starting out with the familiar, home and community, the text begins with “How many WONDERFUL PEOPLE do you know?” Then it moves out to the world: “Did you know there are about 8 BILLION PEOPLE on the planet?” The photo essay features the usual concrete similarities and differences found in many books of this type, such as housing (a Mongolian yurt opposite a Hong Kong apartment building overlooking a basketball court), food (dumplings, pizza, cotton candy, a churro, etc.), and school. Manzano also makes sure to point out likenesses in emotions, as shown in a montage of photos from countries including China, Spain, Kashmir (Pakistan/India), and the United States. At the end, a world map and thumbnail images show the locations of all photos, revealing a preponderance of examples from the U.S. and a slight underrepresentation for Africa and South America.

Engaging, well-chosen images and a clear, coherent text illuminate the importance of empathy for the world’s inhabitants. (Informational picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4263-3738-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: National Geographic Kids

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

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Number lovers will enjoy this comic celebration. Although doubters may not be convinced that math is fun or approachable,...

I'M TRYING TO LOVE MATH

Having tackled such hard-to-love topics as bees and spiders, Barton (Give Bees a Chance, 2017, etc.) here lobbies for the love of math.

An unnamed, unseen math-phobic narrator opens by announcing that they’re not alone, as “4 in 10 Americans hate math. That’s like 40%,” only to be hilariously interrupted by a three-eyed purple ET. “Did you just use math to explain how much you don’t like it?” The ET proceeds to explain how math is everywhere and in everything we already love, including cookies (demonstrating that a recipe is in effect a word problem), music (explaining the time signature and notes on a staff), and pizza (measuring the pie using pi). Loose and lively illustrations and big, bold lettering take readers on a colorful tour of cool math history and concepts. But the narrator’s critical questions go unanswered: How do you learn to love a problem like 785 x 5? And what to do with your frustration when you can’t arrive at the “one right answer?” The ET suggests shaking the numbers off the page when they get too overwhelming—an entertaining but ultimately evasive strategy.

Number lovers will enjoy this comic celebration. Although doubters may not be convinced that math is fun or approachable, they will be impressed with its ubiquity, and that’s a start. (Informational picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: July 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-451-48090-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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