Many families will enjoy the interplay here between mother (efficient and loving) and daughter (sky’s the limit). (Picture...

TAKE YOUR MAMA TO WORK TODAY

A feisty, 7-ish girl informs readers what to expect when a snow day, babysitter snafu or “Take Your Child to Work Day” necessitates accompanying a parent to the office.

From the “hop hop hop” across the lobby floor on “just the black squares,” it’s clear that Violet’s visit will be a topsy-turvy experience for her mom’s bemused and beleaguered co-workers. Reichert embellishes a narrative style reminiscent of Laura Numeroff’s in the If You Give… series and presents a sturdy heroine evocative of Kay Thompson’s Eloise (as a member of the proletariat). Violet’s helpful advice interprets coffee breaks (snack time, with doughnuts) and networking (distributing your rampantly photocopied face, appended with your name and title). She helps the boss with his staff presentation (show-and-tell) and revels in office supplies. Boiger weaves her own daughter’s persona into these pencil-and–mixed-media illustrations, depicting Violet and her mother in color, while co-workers are rendered in pale blue-grays and ochres, and office equipment is outlined in similarly sere tones. Violet sports a green, pom-pom–topped cap, red sweater, denim shorts, striped tights and black low-top sneakers. Mom’s cranberry-colored umbrella figures visually in Violet’s day, whether it’s skewering doughnuts or delivering a shower of confetti adeptly fashioned from shredded paper and punched holes.

Many families will enjoy the interplay here between mother (efficient and loving) and daughter (sky’s the limit). (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 20, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4169-7095-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2012

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A quiet, thought-provoking story of environmental change and the power humans have to slow it.

THE OLD BOAT

A multigenerational tale of a boat’s life with a Black family, written by two brothers who loved similar boats.

In the opening spread, a smiling, brown-skinned adult dangles a line from the back of a green-and-white boat while a boy peers eagerly over the side at the sea life. The text never describes years passing, but each page turn reveals the boy’s aging, more urban development on the shore, increasing water pollution, marine-life changes (sea jellies abound on one page), and shifting water levels. Eventually, the boy, now a teenager, steers the boat, and as an adult, he fishes alone but must go farther and farther out to sea to make his catch. One day, the man loses his way, capsizes in a storm, and washes up on a small bay island, with the overturned, sunken boat just offshore. Now a “new sailor” cleans up the land and water with others’ help. The physical similarities between the shipwrecked sailor and the “new sailor” suggest that this is not a new person but one whose near-death experience has led to an epiphany that changes his relationship to water. As the decaying boat becomes a new marine habitat, the sailor teaches the next generation (a child with hair in two Afro puffs) to fish. Focusing primarily on the sea, the book’s earth-toned illustrations, created with hundreds of stamps, carry the compelling plot.

A quiet, thought-provoking story of environmental change and the power humans have to slow it. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-324-00517-9

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Norton Young Readers

Review Posted Online: Dec. 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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The feelings of community and togetherness are palpable.

SNOW GLOBE WISHES

When a snowstorm blows through town, it knocks out power and sends evening commuters scurrying for the safety and warmth of home.

But in the electricity-free night, one family turns the darkness into an opportunity to slow down and enjoy time together. This charming story follows the evening of an interracial family of four: a brown-skinned and dark-haired woman, little girl, and little boy, and a man presenting as white with light-colored skin and light hair. They have a candlelit picnic of Chinese takeout next to a blazing fireplace and decorated Christmas tree. The family enjoys the rest of the quiet snowy evening beneath a blanket fort in which they sleep together, cat and dog bundled in as well. The next morning, they and the rest of the community go out to play in the snow. The final spread in the book depicts the family’s cat and dog looking at the happy human tableau, now within the snow globe, which reads “Peace on Earth.” The muted colors, simple, childlike renderings, and happy characters make this book about a snowstorm feel warm and cozy—think hygge in picture-book form. Aside from the star-topped, decorated tree and the “Peace on Earth” message, often associated with Christmas, there are no religious symbols used in the book.

The feelings of community and togetherness are palpable. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-53411-031-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2019

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