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THAT'S NOT HOW YOU DO IT!

Sweet but not cloying, purposive but not pedantic.

A confident cat knows the right way to do everything. But is there a right way?

Lucy, a little striped cat in a blue beret, can build a tower, do gymnastics, play the xylophone, eat with a spoon and fork, and fold a piece of paper into a perfect star. When any of the other animals are stumped, they come to Lucy for help. But everything changes when Toshi, a blue-and-white panda with pink cheeks from “far away” (that’s what the sticker on his cute pink luggage says) arrives. His gymnastics are all wrong. (He practices yoga.) His music is strange. (He plays a samisen.) He doesn’t know how to use a spoon and fork. (He uses chopsticks.) And his paper folding is all wrong. (It’s origami.) All of this plays out in the brushy illustrations, the text communicating Lucy’s increasing frustration and Toshi’s serenity. Lucy can’t stand it; she screams at Toshi, “That’s NOT how you do it!” And Toshi simply gives her the lovely pink crane that’s he’s just made out of folded paper. Lucy meekly asks Toshi to show her how, and in return he asks her help in making a paper star. Before long, Lucy has made a flock of cranes and Toshi, a night sky full of stars. More important, each has found a friend. Hofmann-Maniyar delivers her valuable message effectively, with an appropriately light touch that delicately allows her illustrations to develop the conflict.

Sweet but not cloying, purposive but not pedantic. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-8464-3929-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Child's Play

Review Posted Online: Dec. 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2017

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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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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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