Sure to induce giggles and maybe even defuse some tension surrounding kids’ own back-to-school shopping.

DADDY'S BACK-TO-SCHOOL SHOPPING ADVENTURE

Even the best-laid plans pale in the face of nostalgia….

Today is the day Mommy and Daddy are taking their little “Pickle Quackers” back-to-school shopping. And for the hundred-millionth time, they remind Jenny and her little brother, Jake, of the No. 1 rule: “We only buy what’s on the list.” But when Mommy goes to shop for some household items and leaves Daddy in charge, he’s assaulted by requests of all sorts, which he refuses…until he wants something for himself that isn’t on the list. In a wonderfully funny role reversal, Jenny crosses her arms and stands firm, while Jake brandishes the list and smugly states, “Not seeing it here.” The coveted item is the very lunchbox that Daddy loved as a child, and he just has to have it, even if that means buying a cartload of items that similarly are not on the list. But then Mommy returns and puts paid to the foolishness, though maybe there is room on the list for a gift….Carter’s illustrations, which appear to be watercolor, depict a close family that knows how to have fun, even when shopping: they try out a crazy new clothing style. Her facial expressions are masterful, especially in the scene in which Daddy hugs the lunchbox in the store, shoppers looking at him askance.

Sure to induce giggles and maybe even defuse some tension surrounding kids’ own back-to-school shopping. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 16, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4231-8421-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2015

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This warm family story is a splendid showcase for the combined talents of Medina, a Pura Belpré award winner, and Dominguez,...

MANGO, ABUELA, AND ME

Abuela is coming to stay with Mia and her parents. But how will they communicate if Mia speaks little Spanish and Abuela, little English? Could it be that a parrot named Mango is the solution?

The measured, evocative text describes how Mia’s español is not good enough to tell Abuela the things a grandmother should know. And Abuela’s English is too poquito to tell Mia all the stories a granddaughter wants to hear. Mia sets out to teach her Abuela English. A red feather Abuela has brought with her to remind her of a wild parrot that roosted in her mango trees back home gives Mia an idea. She and her mother buy a parrot they name Mango. And as Abuela and Mia teach Mango, and each other, to speak both Spanish and English, their “mouths [fill] with things to say.” The accompanying illustrations are charmingly executed in ink, gouache, and marker, “with a sprinkling of digital magic.” They depict a cheery urban neighborhood and a comfortable, small apartment. Readers from multigenerational immigrant families will recognize the all-too-familiar language barrier. They will also cheer for the warm and loving relationship between Abuela and Mia, which is evident in both text and illustrations even as the characters struggle to understand each other. A Spanish-language edition, Mango, Abuela, y yo, gracefully translated by Teresa Mlawer, publishes simultaneously.

This warm family story is a splendid showcase for the combined talents of Medina, a Pura Belpré award winner, and Dominguez, an honoree. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6900-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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A retro-futuristic romp, literally and figuratively screwy.

ROBOBABY

Robo-parents Diode and Lugnut present daughter Cathode with a new little brother—who requires, unfortunately, some assembly.

Arriving in pieces from some mechanistic version of Ikea, little Flange turns out to be a cute but complicated tyke who immediately falls apart…and then rockets uncontrollably about the room after an overconfident uncle tinkers with his basic design. As a squad of helpline techies and bevies of neighbors bearing sludge cake and like treats roll in, the cluttered and increasingly crowded scene deteriorates into madcap chaos—until at last Cath, with help from Roomba-like robodog Sprocket, stages an intervention by whisking the hapless new arrival off to a backyard workshop for a proper assembly and software update. “You’re such a good big sister!” warbles her frazzled mom. Wiesner’s robots display his characteristic clean lines and even hues but endearingly look like vaguely anthropomorphic piles of random jet-engine parts and old vacuum cleaners loosely connected by joints of armored cable. They roll hither and thither through neatly squared-off panels and pages in infectiously comical dismay. Even the end’s domestic tranquility lasts only until Cathode spots the little box buried in the bigger one’s packing material: “TWINS!” (This book was reviewed digitally with 9-by-22-inch double-page spreads viewed at 52% of actual size.)

A retro-futuristic romp, literally and figuratively screwy. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-544-98731-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

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