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This wise charmer will help brighten readers’ feelings.

Color words signal emotions.

Children understand that colors often suggest feelings: The brighter the hues, the happier the sentiments. As this book opens, a kid looks out forlornly and announces, “Today, I am gray.” The illustrations confirm it, as do the child’s explanations: “I don’t feel sunshine yellow or orange balloon bright or treetop green.” Not even “night sky black.” Everyone’s had days when they feel like “the scribble on a page,” “the storm in the clouds,” “the puddle in the road,” “the tea when it’s gone cold.” The protagonist says that it’s OK to feel gray, as if all the colors have gone; you don’t have to be bright every day. The good news is…storm clouds that bring rain also bring splashy puddles and the sun. And while you may feel gray like the sidewalk, later you can scribble on it…using whatever colors you choose! Better yet is a loving parent telling you, “All of these colors are your feelings…and each one of them is still inside you.” The best news is a parent saying “I love you however you are feeling…and my love won’t change, even when you’re gray.” Kids will warm to this sweet, understated U.K. import and feel heartened by the caregiver’s comforting reassurances. Youngsters should feel their own moods, notoriously mercurial in childhood, validated. The mixed-media illustrations are appealingly childlike—and, unsurprisingly—colorful. Parent and child have lightly tanned skin.

This wise charmer will help brighten readers’ feelings. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 7, 2024

ISBN: 9781536235463

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2024

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While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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From the Growing With Buddy series , Vol. 3

Making friends isn’t always this easy and convenient.

How do you make a new friend when an old one moves away?

Buddy (from Sorry, Grown-Ups, You Can’t Go to School, 2019, etc.) is feeling lonely. His best friend just moved across town. To make matters worse, there is a field trip coming up, and Buddy needs a bus partner. His sister, Lady, has some helpful advice for making a new pal: “You just need to find something you have in common.” Buddy loves the game Robo Chargers and karate. Surely there is someone else who does, too! Unfortunately, there isn’t. However, when a new student arrives (one day later) and asks everyone to call her Sunny instead of Alison, Buddy gets excited. No one uses his given name, either; they just call him Buddy. He secretly whispers his “real, official name” to Sunny at lunch—an indication that a true friendship is being formed. The rest of the story plods merrily along, all pieces falling exactly into place (she even likes Robo Chargers!), accompanied by Bowers’ digital art, a mix of spot art and full-bleed illustrations. Friendship-building can be an emotionally charged event in a child’s life—young readers will certainly see themselves in Buddy’s plight—but, alas, there is not much storytelling magic to be found. Buddy and his family are White, Sunny and Mr. Teacher are Black, and Buddy’s other classmates are racially diverse. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Making friends isn’t always this easy and convenient. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: July 12, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-30709-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2022

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