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From the Big Bright Feelings series

Sure to help young readers recognize—and reconcile with—their own green-eyed monsters.

Milo grapples with jealousy when a newcomer arrives.

Milo and his best friend, Jay, live next door to each other and are inseparable. But when Suzi moves in across the street, everything changes. Jay and Suzi are always laughing (loudly) together or playing, and Milo feels left out. The “squirmy feeling” inside him suddenly grows into a monster. Not only “a green-eyed monster,” but a bright green spiky splotch that radiates frustration with vectors and stars shooting out. The monster sticks with Milo, validating his anxieties (“IT’S NOT FAIR!” “Jay is YOUR friend, not Suzi’s!”) and encouraging irrational thoughts (“the monster hissed that they were having more fun without him”). Milo’s eyebrows furrow, and his hands clench; he’s the picture of anger and dejection. All of the color drains from his surroundings, the green of the monster popping against the gray setting. Luckily, Suzi breaks the monster’s hold by asking questions, highlighting the importance of communication. Percival’s over-the-top visuals will resonate with young readers, many of whom have likely been in Milo’s shoes and will appreciate seeing someone else conquer their green-eyed monster. Coping methods for when friendships feel a bit “wobbly” are appended in a letter from the author. Milo has slightly tanned skin, while Jay is brown-skinned, and Suzi is pale-skinned with bright red hair. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Sure to help young readers recognize—and reconcile with—their own green-eyed monsters. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 7, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-5476-1097-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2022

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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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