A lyrical soundscape that leaves room for observation and makes space for scientific discussion.

RUMBLE AND ROAR

SOUND AROUND THE WORLD

Four children in different countries hear a plethora of sounds in their natural surroundings.

As they explore the great outdoors, the two boys and two girls of varying ethnicities are told to “listen. / Hear. / Cup your ear.” They take note of the sounds made by the human body, the weather, various animals, and even a fiery volcano. On a farm in the USA, there is the “whistle, whir” of birds singing and flying past and the “screech and howl” of an owl and woodland foxes in the adjacent woods. In a tropical jungle in Brazil, there is the “drip, drop, drum” of rain and the “roar and WHOOSH” of a nearby waterfall. Readers are also transported to an alpine meadow filled with the “chomp and chew” of grazing cows and to a riverfront town in South Africa where the “slosh and lap” of waves greets the ear. Finally, as the day comes to an end and the kids return indoors to read and paint before going to bed, other sounds emerge: “whisper, / shush, / slumber, hush. / Purr, / snore, / sounds…no more.” The spare, rhyming text, consisting largely (but not exclusively) of onomatopoeic words, is enhanced by colorful, panoramic, scenic illustrations created with mixed media and Photoshop. The backmatter includes two pages of detailed information about “The Science of Sounds,” complete with “FUN FACT” sidelights and textbooklike diagrams of the human ear and human vocal cords.

A lyrical soundscape that leaves room for observation and makes space for scientific discussion. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5415-9869-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Dec. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2022

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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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