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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Sincere and wholehearted.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

I PROMISE

The NBA star offers a poem that encourages curiosity, integrity, compassion, courage, and self-forgiveness.

James makes his debut as a children’s author with a motivational poem touting life habits that children should strive for. In the first-person narration, he provides young readers with foundational self-esteem encouragement layered within basketball descriptions: “I promise to run full court and show up each time / to get right back up and let my magic shine.” While the verse is nothing particularly artful, it is heartfelt, and in her illustrations, Mata offers attention-grabbing illustrations of a diverse and enthusiastic group of children. Scenes vary, including classrooms hung with student artwork, an asphalt playground where kids jump double Dutch, and a gym populated with pint-sized basketball players, all clearly part of one bustling neighborhood. Her artistry brings black and brown joy to the forefront of each page. These children evince equal joy in learning and in play. One particularly touching double-page spread depicts two vignettes of a pair of black children, possibly siblings; in one, they cuddle comfortably together, and in the other, the older gives the younger a playful noogie. Adults will appreciate the closing checklist of promises, which emphasize active engagement with school. A closing note very generally introduces principles that underlie the Lebron James Family Foundation’s I Promise School (in Akron, Ohio). (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at 15% of actual size.)

Sincere and wholehearted. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 11, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-297106-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

Not astonishingly go-out-and-buy-it-at-graduation inspirational, but all it takes is one seed of change to be planted.

GOING PLACES

Imagination soars—quite literally—when a little girl follows her own set of rules.

Every year Oak Hill School has a go-kart race called the Going Places contest. Students are given identical go-kart kits with a precise set of instructions. And of course, every single kart ends up exactly the same. Every one, that is, except Maya’s. Maya is a dreamy artist, and she would rather sketch birds in her backyard than get caught up in the competition. When she finally does start working, she uses the parts in the go-kart box but creates something completely different. No one ever said it had to be a go-kart. Maya’s creative thinking inspires Rafael, her neighbor (and the most enthusiastic Going Places contestant), to ask to team up. The instructions never say they couldn’t work together, either! An ode to creativity and individuality to be sure, but the Reynolds brothers are also taking a swipe at modern education: Endless repetition and following instructions without question create a culture of conformity. Hopefully now, readers will see infinite possibility every time the system hands them an identical go-kart box.

Not astonishingly go-out-and-buy-it-at-graduation inspirational, but all it takes is one seed of change to be planted. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-6608-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more