Next book

A GIRL LIKE ME

A great way to spark real-world conversations with other girls “like me." (Picture book. 4-8)

A book to inspire the next diverse generation of girls to keep working toward breaking glass ceilings no matter how often the world tells them, “A girl like you needs to stop.”

Johnson and Crews are seasoned talents whose collaboration here shines. Johnson’s spare words of encouragement are in harmony with Crews’ large double-page spreads blending photos of black and brown girls into a collaged dreamworld. Each of three girls is a star in her own dream only to hear people shouting in the background that what she wants simply isn’t possible. The illustrations show the three meeting on an urban playground and then encouraging other neighborhood girls of many races to join them in standing up to the doubters. There is much that Johnson doesn’t say that Crews uses pictures to illustrate. Adult readers may need to help children understand what is taking place in the story, at the heart of which is the power of play. Each girl is seen using her imagination to make her reality “better than the dream.” Illustrating this, a dozen girls in ebullient dress-up pose on the beach, all unapologetically themselves. A final spread allows each depicted girl to tell readers a little bit about herself—a sweet touch that drives home this reminder that girls should be supported in exploring their limitless imaginations, regardless of the naysayers.

A great way to spark real-world conversations with other girls “like me." (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5415-5777-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Nov. 9, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

Categories:
Next book

A LIBRARY

A lushly illustrated homage to librarians who provide a welcome and a home away from home for all who enter.

A love letter to libraries.

A Black child, with hair in two puffballs tied with yellow ribbons, a blue dress with a Peter Pan collar, and black patent leather Mary Janes, helps Grandmother with the housework, then, at Grandmother’s suggestion, heads to the library. The child’s eagerness to go, with two books under an arm and one in their hand, suggests that this is a favorite destination. The books’ wordless covers emphasize their endless possibilities. The protagonist’s description of the library makes clear that they are always free to be themselves there—whether they feel happy or sad, whether they’re reading mysteries or recipes, and whether they feel “quick and smart” or “contained and cautious.” Robinson’s vibrant, carefully composed digital illustrations, with bright colors that invite readers in and textures and patterns in every image, effectively capture the protagonist’s passion for reading and appreciation for a space where they feel accepted regardless of disposition. In her author’s note, Giovanni states that she spent summers visiting her grandmother in Knoxville, Tennessee, where she went to the Carnegie Branch of the Lawson McGhee Library. She expresses gratitude for Mrs. Long, the librarian, who often traveled to the main library to get books that Giovanni could not find in their segregated branch. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A lushly illustrated homage to librarians who provide a welcome and a home away from home for all who enter. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-358-38765-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Versify/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022

Categories:

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2020


  • Schneider Family Book Award Winner

Next book

I TALK LIKE A RIVER

An astounding articulation of both what it feels like to be different and how to make peace with it.

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2020


  • Schneider Family Book Award Winner

A young boy describes how it feels to stutter and how his father’s words see him through “bad speech day[s].”

Lyrical, painfully acute language and absorbing, atmospheric illustrations capture, with startling clarity, this school-age child’s daily struggle with speech. Free verse emulates the pauses of interrupted speech while slowing down the reading, allowing the words to settle. When coupled with powerful metaphors, the effect is gut-wrenching: “The P / in pine tree / grows roots / inside my mouth / and tangles / my tongue.” Dappled paintings inspire empathy as well, with amorphous scenes infused with the uncertainty that defines both the boy’s unpredictable speech and his melancholy. Specificity arrives in the artwork solely at the river, where boy and father go after a particularly bad morning. Scenery comes into focus, and readers feel the boy’s relief in this refuge where he can breathe deeply, be quiet, and think clearly. At this extraordinary book’s center, a double gatefold shows the child wading in shimmering waters, his back to readers, his face toward sunlight. His father pulls his son close and muses that the boy “talk[s] like a river,” choppy in places, churning in others, and smooth beyond.  (Father and son both appear White.) Young readers will turn this complex idea over in their minds again and again. The author includes a moving autobiographical essay prompting readers to think even further about speech, sounds, communication, self-esteem, and sympathy.

An astounding articulation of both what it feels like to be different and how to make peace with it. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4559-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Neal Porter/Holiday House

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

Close Quickview