Elem. – Mole in a Black & White Hole

Sediva, Tereza. Mole in a Black & White Hole. Thames & Hudson, 2021. 978-0-500-65205-3. Unpaged. $16.95. PreK-1.

Mole lives alone in a dark, damp, underground hole. His only friend is a bright pink chandelier that hangs from the ceiling (which readers can see is actually a root vegetable). Chandelier tries to persuade Mole to come to the surface, where there is sunshine and lots of color and life to be found, but Mole isn’t so sure. One day, Mole awakens to a warm sunbeam on his cheek and realizes that Chandelier is gone! Mole is very upset, but remembers what Chandelier told him about the world above. He finally finds the courage to climb up through the hole and explore, and what he finds changes his whole outlook on life. Unique illustrations consist of horizontal two-page spreads that show a distinct division between the black and white underground and the colorful aboveground. This uplifting story about finding the beauty in things is sure to stir something in all readers.

THOUGHTS: I love the subtle message conveyed by this story about optimism, determination, and intentionality. In the words of Chandelier, “There is so much color and so much life to be found. But to find it, you must search for it.”

Picture Book           Julie Ritter, PSLA Member

Elem. – One World, Many Colors

Lerwill, Ben. One World, Many Colors. words & pictures, 2020. 978-0-711-24983-7. Unpaged. $18.95. Grades K-3.

This colorful story takes readers on a tour around the world, from the snowy white plains of icy Antarctica to the yellow sunflower fields of Spain to the lush green jungle of the Amazon Rainforest. Beautiful illustrations depict the pink cherry blossoms of Japan, the blue sky above Mount Everest, and the noisy streets of New York City and London. These are just a few of the sights in store for readers in this lovely celebration of our Earth.

THOUGHTS: This book is a wonderful reminder that despite our various cultures, languages, and beliefs, we all share one world full of many colors. The last pages of the book feature a map on which highlighted cities are labelled as well as a list of colors in nine different languages. This would make an excellent introduction to a lesson on world cultures. I could see it being used as a springboard for research; after reading the book, students could be assigned one of the places mentioned in the book to research further.

910 Geography          Julie Ritter, PSLA Member

MG – Inside Art Movements

Brooks, Susie. Inside Art Movements. Compass Point Books, 2020. $21.49 ea. $128.94 Set of 6. 48 p. Grades 6-8.

Cubism. 978-0-7565-6236-6.
Impressionism. 978-0-756-56237-3.
Pop Art. 978-0-756-56238-0.
The Renaissance. 978-0-756-56239-7.
Romanticism. 978-0-756-56240-3.
Surrealism. 978-0-756-56241-0.

In concise yet descriptive text, author Susie Brooks traces the history and aesthetic of impressionism,  the popular art movement of the mid-19th century. Each attractive double-page spread is dedicated to one of the key elements of this innovative art style. This slim volume presents information in short, labeled paragraphs accompanied by several colored illustrations from the major artists of the period. The author defines impressionism; describes the  different schools (Beaux Arts and Barbizon); provides pithy biographies of leading painters; traces the controversies, influences, advances, and legacy of the movement. be interactive. Ms. Brooks adds an interactive aspect to the text by posing a question to the reader to examine the artwork for comparisons. What raises this expository text above the typical informational book on art is Ms. Brooks’s ability to explain her subject succinctly and eloquently and to provide a well-rounded albeit condensed look at this movement from its controversial beginnings to its evolution and influence in post-Impressionism and modern art. Includes contents, index, glossary, and timeline. Artists included are: Monet, Manet, Degas, Cassatt, Cezanne, Morisot, Renoir, Pissarro, Caillebotte, Sisley, Millet, Corot, Boudin, Theodore Robinson, Turner, Seurat, Whistler, and Rousseau.

THOUGHTS: Adequate addition to art sections in elementary libraries. This selection is a brief, attractive, well-written overview. (Title Reviewed: Impressionism)

709 Art          Bernadette Cooke, School District of Philadelphia