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LOLA SLEEPS OVER

From the Lola & Leo series

A sweet, family-based story of Lola’s expanding world.

Lola’s newest experience is sleeping over at her cousin Hani’s house.

Lola is looking forward to her first sleepover tonight. She wears her favorite kanga dress with a matching hair tie, and she packs her overnight bag. She needs several outfits for the different activities they will do, as well as her favorite books and stuffed animals. Daddy walks her over to Hani’s house and says goodbye. Lola and Hani play outside and inside, have dinner with Auntie Zari and Auntie Jina, then watch a movie while Auntie Zari does Lola’s hair before bed. Bedtime is special, with a surprise from Auntie Zari, and Auntie Jina’s French toast makes a delicious breakfast. Like other books in the Lola series, this outing keeps readers engaged with delightful illustrations and simple, straightforward narration perfect for introducing young ones to new experiences. Realistic natural hairstyles are a lovely visual detail, and Lola’s two aunties are an accepted part of her world. All characters are depicted as Black. Lola’s fans will be pleased to add this volume to their collections and see how Lola’s first sleepover goes. Caregivers can use it to talk about what to expect at a first sleepover.

A sweet, family-based story of Lola’s expanding world. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 21, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-62354-291-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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WOO HOO! YOU'RE DOING GREAT!

WOO-HOO! This is the perfect way to foster healthy self-esteem in little ones.

What’s better than a cheerleading chicken?

Are you ever blue, unsure, tired, or overworked? Do you ever feel lost or overwhelmed? This uplifting book, expressed in delightful, jaunty verse, explains how to lift your spirits pronto: What you need is a booster chicken telling you’re doing great even when you’re not so confident, as when you’re learning or practicing a new skill, for instance. Your feathered champion will be right there, encouraging you all the way, with a loud “WOO HOO!” that’ll keep you going and remove any doubt you’re super terrific. But what if your cheerful chick errs and doesn’t do what it set out to do? Don’t worry—your cheery chicken just needs a reminder that everyone makes mistakes. That alone is a pep talk, enhanced by the wisdom that making mistakes allows everyone to learn and demonstrate they did their best. So forgive yourself, chickens! But the best thing is…instead of relying on someone else—like a chicken—to strengthen your ego, say a generous daily “WOO HOO!” to yourself. This riotous book hits all the right notes and does so succinctly and hilariously. The energetic, comical illustrations, in Boynton’s signature style, will elicit giggles and go far to make the book’s important point. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

WOO-HOO! This is the perfect way to foster healthy self-esteem in little ones. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 4, 2023

ISBN: 978-0-316-48679-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2023

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IZZY GIZMO AND THE INVENTION CONVENTION

From the Izzy Gizmo series

A disappointing follow-up.

Inventor Izzy Gizmo is back in this sequel to her eponymous debut (2017).

While busily inventing one day, Izzy receives an invitation from the Genius Guild to their annual convention. Though Izzy’s “inventions…don’t always work,” Grandpa (apparently her sole caregiver) encourages her to go. The next day they undertake a long journey “over fields, hills, and waves” and “mile after mile” to isolated Technoff Isle. There, Izzy finds she must compete against four other kids to create the most impressive machine. The colorful, detail-rich illustrations chronicle how poor Izzy is thwarted at every turn by Abi von Lavish, a Veruca Salt–esque character who takes all the supplies for herself. But when Abi abandons her project, Izzy salvages the pieces and decides to take Grandpa’s advice to create a machine that “can really be put to good use.” A frustrated Izzy’s impatience with a friend almost foils her chance at the prize, but all’s well that ends well. There’s much to like: Brown-skinned inventor girl Izzy is an appealing character, it’s great to see a nurturing brown-skinned male caregiver, the idea of an “Invention Convention” is fun, and a sustainable-energy invention is laudable. However, these elements don’t make up for rhymes that often feel forced and a lackluster story.

A disappointing follow-up. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68263-164-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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