A festive celebration of America’s more common parades.

EVERYONE LOVES A PARADE!*

Doesn’t everyone love a parade?

Beginning with Veteran’s Day, generally the first parade in the school year, and progressing chronologically, Denish and Franco capture the joyful chaos of long-standing parades like Thanksgiving, Chinese New Year, and Fourth of July as well as more recent or localized parades such as Pride Mardi Gras or the celebration of a sports championship. Most events are recognizable from illustrative or textual clues, but an informational paragraph about each parade in the backmatter clearly identifies each parade and its history. Vibrant, full-bleed illustrations show a diverse, multigenerational community participating in and enjoying each parade. Four lines of rhyming text describe each parade’s distinctive sights (“Friendly faces floating high. / Unicycles whizzing by. / Jazzy kickers, / Candy lickers”) and sounds (“Ladies clogging, clicks and claps”; “Firecrackers! Boom. Fizz. BAM”). The book’s title acts as a refrain for each spread. But wait! There’s an asterisk at the end of the title—why? There are two reasons. Readers will discover the first at the end of the main text and will want to carefully review the illustrations in Where’s Waldo? fashion now that they know the one sort of person who does not love a parade. A careful read of the author’s bio provides the second reason, in the description of her preferred way to enjoy a parade.

A festive celebration of America’s more common parades. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-63592-140-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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The snappy text will get toes tapping, but the information it carries is limited.

LET'S DANCE!

Dancing is one of the most universal elements of cultures the world over.

In onomatopoeic, rhyming text, Bolling encourages readers to dance in styles including folk dance, classical ballet, breakdancing, and line dancing. Read aloud, the zippy text will engage young children: “Tappity Tap / Fingers Snap,” reads the rhyme on the double-page spread for flamenco; “Jiggity-Jig / Zig-zag-zig” describes Irish step dancing. The ballet pages stereotypically include only children in dresses or tutus, but one of these dancers wears hijab. Overall, children included are racially diverse and vary in gender presentation. Diaz’s illustrations show her background in animated films; her active child dancers generally have the large-eyed sameness of cartoon characters. The endpapers, with shoes and musical instruments, could become a matching game with pages in the book. The dances depicted are described at the end, including kathak from India and kuku from Guinea, West Africa. Unfortunately, these explanations are quite rudimentary. Kathak dancers use their facial expressions extensively in addition to the “movements of their hands and their jingling feet,” as described in the book. Although today kuku is danced at all types of celebrations in several countries, it was once done after fishing, an activity acknowledged in the illustrations but not mentioned in the explanatory text.

The snappy text will get toes tapping, but the information it carries is limited. (Informational picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-63592-142-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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Sweet, reassuring fun—and a story to fully embrace.

SLUG IN LOVE

A slug longs for a hug and finds it unexpectedly.

Doug the slug would really like a hug and plods on, seeking affection. But a caterpillar, bug, spider, and worm want no part of hugging a slug. They are just not feeling it (might they feel sluggish?), voicing their disdain in no uncertain terms with expressions like, “Grimy, slippy!” and “Squelchy, slimy!” What’s a slug to do? Undeterred, Doug keeps trying. He meets Gail, a snail with crimson lipstick and hip, red glasses; she happens to be as grimy and squelchy as he is, so he figures she is the hugger of his dreams. The two embark upon a madcap romantic courtship. Alas, Gail also draws the (slimy) line at hugging Doug. Finally, mournful Doug meets the best hugger and the true love of his life, proving there’s someone for everyone. This charmer will have readers rooting for Doug (and perhaps even wanting to hug him). Expressed in simple, jaunty verses that read and scan smoothly, the brief tale revolves around words that mainly rhyme with Doug and slug. Given that the story stretches vocabulary so well with regard to rhyming words, children can be challenged after a read-aloud session to offer up words that rhyme with slug and snail. The colorful and humorous illustrations are lively and cheerful; googly-eyed Doug is, like the other characters, entertaining and expressive. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Sweet, reassuring fun—and a story to fully embrace. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Dec. 14, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-66590-046-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

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