An excuse for Czajak to share his love of books with children, this story’s optimistic view of creativity and resistance is...

THE BOOK TREE

After the mayor bans books, a young boy named Arlo discovers how to grow them.

“Beginnings were always the best part. They smelled as if anything were possible.” Arlo is so absorbed in the book he’s reading up in a tree that it slips from his hands and bonks the mayor on the head. “Books are dangerous!” the mayor cries, and he rips up every book in town. Arlo is sad, but he figures the mayor must be right; after all, he is the mayor. The town changes: Storytime is replaced by nap time; the theaters produce no plays, and the library is empty. Arlo weeps as he writes “The End” in the sand, but writing makes him determined to share stories. Then, from one of the ripped-up pages, the titular tree begins to sprout, and books flourish once more. (Conveniently, the mayor is easily convinced of their value.) Kheiriyeh’s dramatic oil paint–and-collage illustrations, in hues of beige, red, and bright blue, use characters and setting to drive home the message that books bring joy and their absence is all but tragic. The books that grow from the tree contain print in many languages: Korean, Arabic, Russian, Portuguese, and more. Arlo and a number of the other townspeople are brown-skinned, the mayor and others are a shade of beige, and all have blue hair.

An excuse for Czajak to share his love of books with children, this story’s optimistic view of creativity and resistance is fairly irresistible. (Picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-78285-505-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Barefoot Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2018

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An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way.

NOAH CHASES THE WIND

A young boy sees things a little differently than others.

Noah can see patterns in the dust when it sparkles in the sunlight. And if he puts his nose to the ground, he can smell the “green tang of the ants in the grass.” His most favorite thing of all, however, is to read. Noah has endless curiosity about how and why things work. Books open the door to those answers. But there is one question the books do not explain. When the wind comes whistling by, where does it go? Noah decides to find out. In a chase that has a slight element of danger—wind, after all, is unpredictable—Noah runs down streets, across bridges, near a highway, until the wind lifts him off his feet. Cowman’s gusty wisps show each stream of air turning a different jewel tone, swirling all around. The ribbons gently bring Noah home, setting him down under the same thinking tree where he began. Did it really happen? Worthington’s sensitive exploration leaves readers with their own set of questions and perhaps gratitude for all types of perspective. An author’s note mentions children on the autism spectrum but widens to include all who feel a little different.

An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60554-356-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Redleaf Lane

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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A culturally intricate slice of a lupine courier’s life.

¡VAMOS! LET'S GO TO THE MARKET

From the ¡Vamos! series

Little Lobo and his dog, Bernabé, journey through a Mexican mercado delivering diverse goods to a variety of booths.

With the aid of red words splattered throughout the spreads as labels, Raúl the Third gives an introduction to Spanish vocabulary as Little Lobo, an anthropomorphic wolf, leaves his house, fills his cart with objects from his warehouse, and delivers them to the market’s vendors. The journey also serves as a crash course in Mexican culture, as the images are packed with intertextual details such as food, traditional games, and characters, including Cantinflas, Frida Khalo, and Juan Gabriel. Readers acquainted with Raúl the Third’s characters from his Lowriders series with author Cathy Camper will appreciate cameos from familiar characters. As he makes his rounds, Little Lobo also collects different artifacts that people offer in exchange for his deliveries of shoe polish, clothespins, wood, tissue paper, paintbrushes, and a pair of golden laces. Although Raúl the Third departs from the ball-pen illustrations that he is known for, his depiction of creatures and critters peppering the borderland where his stories are set remains in his trademark style. The softer hues in the illustrations (chosen by colorist Bay) keep the busy compositions friendly, and the halftone patterns filling the illustrations create foregrounds and backgrounds reminiscent of Roy Lichtenstein’s pointillism.

A culturally intricate slice of a lupine courier’s life. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-55726-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Versify/HMH

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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