Saturday, October 31, 2020

Cartoon Saturday-- Measuring Up and Pet That Dog

LaMotte, Lily and Xu, Ann(Illustrator). Measuring Up
October 27th 2020 by HarperCollins
E ARC provided by Netgalley

Cici and her family move from Taiwan to the US for better opportunities. Cici settles in fairly well, although she misses her A-má (grandmother) very much, and has to deal with microagressions from people who make fun of her lunches or can't understand that she is Taiwanese and not Chinese. She would love for her A-má to visit for her 70th birthday, but money is too tight. When Cici finds out about a children's cooking competition with a grand prize of $1,000, she knows that she has to try to win. She is paired with Miranda, whose father is a chef and has an Italian restaurant. Miranda is very pushy and sure she is right, so when the two have to choose dishes, Miranda ignores Cici's recommendations, saying that they can't make "take out food". Cici manages to tweak the recipes with spices and ingredients that help the two advance to the next level, and Miranda becomes more open to suggestions. She is especially interested in Cici's ability as a "super taster" when it comes to spices. Cici's mother knows about the competition and her desire to have A-má visit, but her father does not. As Cici and Miranda keep hanging on, they know that they might eventually have to compete against each other. Who will have the cooking skills necessary to meet the challenges to the judges' satisfaction?
Strengths: This had a lot of interesting information about cooking a variety of ingredients, and even has a shout out to the culinary advice of Julia Child! The competition features different ingredients that must be used for the competition dishes, like spinach, rice, or potatoes, and the girls have their own ideas on what might be best. Their rivalry, and eventual friendship, is realistic. Miranda's father is overbearing, which explains her behavior, but this is a small part of the story. Cici's dealings with microaggressions are important to read about, and will hopefully make readers more empathetic to fellow classmates with different cultural backgrounds. Definitely the tastiest graphic novel out there!
Weaknesses: There are a significant number of middle grade novels about cooking competitions, and my students haven't been too interested in them. Are there really competitions for students? Clearly, I am out of the loop on this one.
What I really think: My students will read realistic graphic novels on just about any topic, and this has pleasant illustrations, a good text-to-picture ratio, and fast paced story, so I will purchase this.

Kidd, Gideon and Braunigan, Rachel. Pet That Dog: A Handbook for Making Four-Legged Friends. 
October 20th 2020 by Quirk Books
Copy provided by the publisher

This is a cute guide to getting to know dogs. It covers things like how to approach a strange dog (ask its human companion first!), some history of dogs, different types of dogs, and how to take care of dogs. It is only available in paperback or e book from Follett, and since there are spaces in the back to write down dogs one has met, this might make a better gift book than a library purchase. 

From Goodreads: 
From 11-year-old dog-loving Gideon Kidd of the viral social media account "I've Pet That Dog," Pet That Dog! A Handbook for Making Four-Legged Friends is a highly-illustrated guide to meeting, caring for, and learning about humans' best friend.

Like many kids (and adults!), Gideon loves to pet dogs. He loves petting dogs so much, he asked his mom if he could make a website showcasing all of the dogs he's pet. That website eventually became the Twitter account "I've Pet That Dog," and since April 2018, Gideon has amassed over 300,000 fans of his heartwarming and delightful tweets. In a world filled with strife and sarcasm, Gideon's account brings a bit of sunshine into so many lives. Even celebrities like Lin Manuel Miranda and Kirstie Alley are fans of Gideon's sweet and wholesome content. With each tweet, Gideon presents a photo of himself with a dog he has met and a few lines about the dog's story. He has now pet and profiled over 1,000 dogs!

Pet That Dog! A Handbook for Making Four-Legged Friends is an illustrated guide by Gideon and his mom. The handbook includes a guide to meeting, petting, and caring for dogs, facts about dogs, quizzes, and more. The interactive format is perfect for dog lovers — as well as kids who are curious about dogs, but may be nervous around them. The "How to Pet a Dog" section is full of helpful do's and don'ts.

The bond between kids and dogs is timeless — and with a social media platform like "I've Pet That Dog" attached, this handbook is both evergreen and solidly of the moment.

Ms. Yingling

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