This well may lead young readers to some pretending of their own.

I WANNA BE A COWGIRL

“Way out west, the warm winds blow.”

A snub-nosed, tousle-haired little white girl narrates life as a cowgirl in poetic, measured rhyme, while appealing paintings rendered in watercolor, gouache, colored pencil, and Photoshop show a day of imaginative play. Simple, catchy text with a repeating line combines with a bright palette full of shiny red to follow the active, enthusiastic youngster and her trusty pup and kitten as she sets out with cowboy boots (rain boots), lasso (jump rope), and horse (hobby horse). Her day includes a visit to the chicken coop (doghouse), chores such as milking the cow (hanging the laundry) and shearing the sheep (brushing the dog), a swim in the creek (inflatable pool), some grub (sandwiches), and sleeping under the stars (they are printed on her blanket). “Home on the range, I’ll close my eyes. / I’ll snuggle up until sunrise. / I’ll sleep beneath the starry skies. / And dream… // that I’m a cowgirl!” While it’s not a novel concept—tomboys, especially white ones, are represented in children’s books aplenty—the charming and energetic story is easy to follow, and the give-and-take between imagination and real life is well-executed.

This well may lead young readers to some pretending of their own. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-5299-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves

MAYBE

A young child explores the unlimited potential inherent in all humans.

“Have you ever wondered why you are here?” asks the second-person narration. There is no one like you. Maybe you’re here to make a difference with your uniqueness; maybe you will speak for those who can’t or use your gifts to shine a light into the darkness. The no-frills, unrhymed narrative encourages readers to follow their hearts and tap into their limitless potential to be anything and do anything. The precisely inked and colored artwork plays with perspective from the first double-page spread, in which the child contemplates a mountain (or maybe an iceberg) in their hands. Later, they stand on a ladder to place white spots on tall, red mushrooms. The oversized flora and fauna seem to symbolize the presumptively insurmountable, reinforcing the book’s message that anything is possible. This quiet read, with its sophisticated central question, encourages children to reach for their untapped potential while reminding them it won’t be easy—they will make messes and mistakes—but the magic within can help overcome falls and failures. It’s unlikely that members of the intended audience have begun to wonder about their life’s purpose, but this life-affirming mood piece has honorable intentions. The child, accompanied by an adorable piglet and sporting overalls and a bird-beaked cap made of leaves, presents white.

More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves . (Picture book. 2-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-946873-75-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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UMBRELLA

Momo longed to carry the blue umbrella and wear the bright red rubber boots she had been given on her third birthday. But day after day Indian summer continued. Momo tried to tell mother she needed to carry the umbrella to nursery school because the sunshine bothered her eyes. But Mother didn't let her use the umbrella then or when she said the wind bothered her. At last, though, rain fell on the city pavements and Momo carried her umbrella and wore her red boots to school. One feels the urgency of Momo's wish. The pictures are full of the city's moods and the child's joy in a rainy day.

Pub Date: March 1, 1958

ISBN: 978-0-14-050240-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Dec. 9, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1958

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