Parents: Beware what happens behind your child’s closed door when you pronounce: “Go to your room!” (Picture book. 6-9)

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU'RE SENT TO YOUR ROOM

This may be one of those books parents don’t want their children to read—of course, the prohibited is all the more attractive.

Ben is no stranger to spending some time alone in his room: He gets sent there. A lot. Therefore, he has some tips to pass along to readers. First, get the apology out of the way early to avoid further punishment. Next, raid the hiding places where you’ve stashed food. (What?! You mean you don’t have any? Drop this right now and go find some!) To while away the time, Ben makes some tough decisions (regarding his birthday wish list), redecorates his room (tape and magazine cutouts are involved!) and plays with his pets. Sorting baseball cards, organizing collections and making faces at his big brother are also great activities. And since Ben shares a room with said brother, he can usually count on his time being shortened, as his “mom never leaves us alone together in our room.” A page turn shows why. Hand-drawn and digitally colored illustrations bring Ben to life for readers: the gleam in his eye, his mischievous grin, his imagination, his deadpan manner, the false emotions he puts on to apologize. But by the end, readers may be wondering whether Ben purposefully gets sent to time out—it seems to be that much fun.

Parents: Beware what happens behind your child’s closed door when you pronounce: “Go to your room!” (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6052-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Well-meaning and with a lovely presentation, this sentimental effort may be aimed more at adults than kids.

MY LITTLE BRAVE GIRL

Little girls are given encouragement and assurance so they can meet the challenges of life as they move through the big, wide world.

Delicately soft watercolor-style art depicts naturalistic scenes with a diverse quintet of little girls portraying potential situations they will encounter, as noted by a narrative heavily dependent on a series of clichés. “The stars are high, and you can reach them,” it promises as three of the girls chase fireflies under a star-filled night sky. “Oceans run deep, and you will learn to swim,” it intones as one girl treads water and another leans over the edge of a boat to observe life on the ocean floor. “Your feet will take many steps, my brave little girl. / Let your heart lead the way.” Girls gingerly step across a brook before making their way through a meadow. The point of all these nebulous metaphors seems to be to inculcate in girls the independence, strength, and confidence they’ll need to succeed in their pursuits. Trying new things, such as foods, is a “delicious new adventure.” Though the quiet, gentle text is filled with uplifting words that parents will intuitively relate to or comprehend, the esoteric messages may be a bit sentimental and ambiguous for kids to understand or even connect to. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.5-by-19-inch double-page spreads viewed at 50% of actual size.)

Well-meaning and with a lovely presentation, this sentimental effort may be aimed more at adults than kids. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 23, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-30072-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

This outing lacks the sophistication of such category standards as Clementine; here’s hoping English amps things up for...

DOG DAYS

From the Carver Chronicles series , Vol. 1

A gentle voice and familiar pitfalls characterize this tale of a boy navigating the risky road to responsibility. 

Gavin is new to his neighborhood and Carver Elementary. He likes his new friend, Richard, and has a typically contentious relationship with his older sister, Danielle. When Gavin’s desire to impress Richard sets off a disastrous chain of events, the boy struggles to evade responsibility for his actions. “After all, it isn’t his fault that Danielle’s snow globe got broken. Sure, he shouldn’t have been in her room—but then, she shouldn’t be keeping candy in her room to tempt him. Anybody would be tempted. Anybody!” opines Gavin once he learns the punishment for his crime. While Gavin has a charming Everyboy quality, and his aversion to Aunt Myrtle’s yapping little dog rings true, little about Gavin distinguishes him from other trouble-prone protagonists. He is, regrettably, forgettable. Coretta Scott King Honor winner English (Francie, 1999) is a teacher whose storytelling usually benefits from her day job. Unfortunately, the pizzazz of classroom chaos is largely absent from this series opener.

This outing lacks the sophistication of such category standards as Clementine; here’s hoping English amps things up for subsequent volumes. (Fiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: Dec. 17, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-547-97044-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Clarion

Review Posted Online: Oct. 2, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more