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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See, hear, touch, taste, smell...and imagine poetry all around you.


A neighborhood walk unleashes the power of poetry.

Kiyoshi, a boy of Japanese heritage, watches his poet grandfather, Eto, write a poem in calligraphy. Intrigued, Kiyoshi asks, “Where do poems come from?” So begins a meditative walk through their bustling neighborhood, in which Kiyoshi discovers how to use his senses, his power of observation, and his imagination to build a poem. After each scene, Eto jots down a quick poem that serves as both a creative activity and an instruction for Kiyoshi. Eventually Kiyoshi discovers his own poetic voice, and together the boy and his grandfather find poems all around them. Spare, precise prose is coupled with the haiku Kiyoshi and his grandfather create, building the story through each new scene to expand Kiyoshi’s understanding of the origin of poems. Sensory language, such as flicked, whooshed, peeked, and reeled, not only builds readers’ vocabulary, but also models the vitality and precision of creative writing. The illustrations are just as thoughtfully crafted. Precisely rendered, the artwork is soft, warm, and captivating, offering vastly different perspectives and diverse characters who make up an apparently North American neighborhood that feels both familiar and new for a boy discovering how to view the world the way a poet does. Earth tones, coupled with bright yellows, pinks, and greens, draw readers in and encourage them to linger over each spread. An author’s note provides additional information about haiku.

See, hear, touch, taste, smell...and imagine poetry all around you. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 9, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-62014-958-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Lee & Low Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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A quirky, fun story that will appeal to young audiences looking for a little bit of scare, with a premise so good it...


A tiger can’t believe it’s being upstaged in this picture-book riff on William Blake’s famous poem.

A group of zoologically diverse animals huddle around a fire, listening to a porcupine read from a chilling poem: “Bunnies, bunnies, burning bright, / in the forests of the night—.” An incredulous tiger interrupts, saying that the poem is actually about it. But a squirrel matter-of-factly states that “Here, it’s ‘bunnies, bunnies.’ ” The tiger still doesn’t understand why the animals would be so afraid of bunnies but not afraid of tigers and tries to explain why it, an apex predator, is far more threatening. The smaller animals remain unimpressed, calmly telling the tiger that “In this forest, we fear the bunny” and that it should “Hide now, before it’s too late.” An amusing and well-done premise slightly disappoints at the climax, with the tiger streaking away in terror before a horde of headlamp-wearing bunnies, but eager readers never learn what, exactly, the bunnies would do if they caught up. But at the end, a group of tigers joins the other animals in their awestruck reading of the adapted Blake poem, included in full at the end. Cute, fuzzy illustrations contrast nicely with the dark tone and forest background.

A quirky, fun story that will appeal to young audiences looking for a little bit of scare, with a premise so good it overcomes a weak conclusion. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4814-7800-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Caitlyn Dlouhy/Atheneum

Review Posted Online: Nov. 21, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2018

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