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A helpful title for kids growing up in the social media age.

A fame-obsessed peacock gains much-needed perspective.

A purple peacock at the zoo loves having his photo taken by visitors and showing off his beautiful plumage. A young girl named Sketch with unnaturally pink skin is the only one uninterested in taking his photo; instead, she regularly visits Peacock to draw pictures of him in her notebook and tell him stories. Hungry for even more fame, Peacock escapes the zoo. He parades down the street on the roof of a school bus, strutting, posing, and garnering more and more attention. He wanders into a library, where everyone except the stereotypically stern librarian marvels at him. But being famous, it turns out, is exhausting; luckily, worn-out Peacock runs into Sketch, who begs him to “go back home.” Back at the zoo, Peacock loses his fan base when his feathers start to molt, but loyal Sketch is there to comfort him as the seasons change. Peterkin’s straightforward yet moving cautionary tale is capped off by backmatter urging caregivers to use the “3 C’s” of social media—content, contact, and conduct—as a framework for discussing “the benefits and risks of social media” with children. Prabhat’s cartoon-style digital illustrations depict animal and human figures alike with oversized, round eyes and vibrant colors and use close-ups to capture key emotional moments. Background characters have a range of skin tones from deep brown to tan.

A helpful title for kids growing up in the social media age. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 11, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-4338-3279-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Magination/American Psychological Association

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 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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Nice enough but not worth repeat reads.

Emma deals with jitters before playing the guitar in the school talent show.

Pop musician Kevin Jonas and his wife, Danielle, put performance at the center of their picture-book debut. When Emma is intimidated by her very talented friends, the encouragement of her younger sister, Bella, and the support of her family help her to shine her own light. The story is straightforward and the moral familiar: Draw strength from your family and within to overcome your fears. Employing the performance-anxiety trope that’s been written many times over, the book plods along predictably—there’s nothing really new or surprising here. Dawson’s full-color digital illustrations center a White-presenting family along with Emma’s three friends of color: Jamila has tanned skin and wears a hijab; Wendy has dark brown skin and Afro puffs; and Luis has medium brown skin. Emma’s expressive eyes and face are the real draw of the artwork—from worry to embarrassment to joy, it’s clear what she’s feeling. A standout double-page spread depicts Emma’s talent show performance, with a rainbow swirl of music erupting from an amp and Emma rocking a glam outfit and electric guitar. Overall, the book reads pretty plainly, buoyed largely by the artwork. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Nice enough but not worth repeat reads. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 29, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-35207-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin

Review Posted Online: Feb. 8, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

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