A tasty (if slight) tour of fast-food offerings the world over.



Sticky fingers, smudged faces, and full bellies—the hallmarks of good street food everywhere.

Whether purchased from a street vendor in Athens, a bike vendor in Marrakech, a train station in Mumbai, one thing is universal: The mouthwatering aromas of cooking food beguile people on highways, alleyways, and byways. Larios’ whimsical tribute to the comfort found in munching mandu in Seoul or chomping a churro in Oaxaca will stir memories of places far away—or right next door. These sometimes-awkward, four- to six-line poems are little bites of specific places and experiences—try a deep-fried scorpion on a stick in Beijing or the black devil’s broth in Surabaya, East Java! Not so adventuresome? How about pretzels in New York or Fenway franks in Boston? Paschkis’ vibrant, opaque watercolor scenes whisk readers off to an Israeli beach or a celebration in Peru. A few page turns later, and the scene is at the foot of a baobab tree in Senegal. Diverse dishes for diverse cultures. Readers will be sorry, however, there is no illustrated food glossary. In the closing “International Menu of Sweets and Treats,” some dishes, such as the devil’s broth, are vividly explained, but others are only names mentioned in passing—Russian pelmeni, piroshki, and blini are lumped together as “savory pastries.” (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at actual size.)

A tasty (if slight) tour of fast-food offerings the world over. (Picture book/poetry. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 13, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5344-5377-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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There’s always tomorrow.


A lyrical message of perseverance and optimism.

The text uses direct address, which the title- and final-page illustrations suggest comes from an adult voice, to offer inspiration and encouragement. The opening spreads reads, “Tonight as you sleep, a new day stirs. / Each kiss good night is a wish for tomorrow,” as the accompanying art depicts a child with black hair and light skin asleep in a bed that’s fantastically situated in a stylized landscape of buildings, overpasses, and roadways. The effect is dreamlike, in contrast with the next illustration, of a child of color walking through a field and blowing dandelion fluff at sunrise. Until the last spread, each child depicted in a range of settings is solitary. Some visual metaphors falter in terms of credibility, as in the case of a white-appearing child using a wheelchair in an Antarctic ice cave strewn with obstacles, as the text reads “you’ll explore the world, only feeling lost in your imagination.” Others are oblique in attempted connections between text and art. How does a picture of a pale-skinned, black-haired child on a bridge in the rain evoke “first moments that will dance with you”? But the image of a child with pink skin and brown hair scaling a wall as text reads “there will be injustice that will challenge you, and it will surprise you how brave you can be” is clearer.

There’s always tomorrow. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-101-99437-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

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A lyrical coming-of-age story in picture-book form that begs to be shared.


Former Poet Laureate Herrera encourages his young readers to imagine all they might be in his new picture book.

Herrera’s free verse tells his own story, starting as a young boy who loves the plants and animals he finds outdoors in the California fields and is then thrust into the barren, concrete city. In the city he begins to learn to read and write, learning English and discovering a love for words and the way ink flows “like tiny rivers” across the page as he applies pen to paper. Words soon become sentences, poems, lyrics, and a means of escape. This love of the word ultimately leads him to make writing his vocation and to become the first Chicano Poet Laureate of the United States, an honor Herrera received in 2015. Through this story of hardship to success, expressed in a series of conditional statements that all begin “If I,” Herrera implores his readers to “imagine what you could do.” Castillo’s ink and foam monoprint illustrations are a tender accompaniment to Herrera’s verse, the black lines of her illustrations flowing across the page in rhythm with the author’s poetry. Together this makes for a charming read-aloud for groups or a child snuggled in a lap.

A lyrical coming-of-age story in picture-book form that begs to be shared. (Picture book/memoir. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9052-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

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