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RUBY RENÉ HAD SO MUCH TO SAY

A wonderful tale certain to inspire youngsters to find creative outlets for their curiosity.

A story of hope for incessant talkers.

Ruby René, a dark-skinned Black girl with big curly hair, loves to talk. She listens to informative podcasts, adores science, and collects interesting facts that she’s eager to share—often. In class, Mrs. Hansen gets exasperated with Ruby’s talking and calls her parents. Knowing she’s in trouble, Ruby frets and decides to learn Morse code to communicate. Ruby’s concerned and empathetic dad gives her a purple journal so she can write her thoughts down in class instead of speaking them aloud. This quiets Ruby, but she gets so wrapped up with writing in the book that she hears little of Mrs. Hansen’s lessons. In gym class, Ruby can’t contain herself and shares a dodgeball fact with a classmate, and a ball clocks her on the head. While in the office nursing her noggin, Ruby encounters Principal Gale, who suggests something that changes everything. This story emphasizes creative solutions to loquaciousness that don’t squelch a child’s spirit. Ruby is surrounded by caring Black adults (including Mrs. Hansen and Ms. Gale) who encourage her inquisitiveness but help her channel it into positive avenues. Speech and thought bubbles give readers a view into Ruby’s perspective, and Jose’s whimsical, colorful digital illustrations depict a diverse classroom.

A wonderful tale certain to inspire youngsters to find creative outlets for their curiosity. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 14, 2024

ISBN: 9780593618899

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Kokila

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2024

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ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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THE CURIOUS WHY

From the Magical Yet series , Vol. 2

Why not? Fun, cheery, and entertaining: just the ticket for the perennially inquisitive—or perpetually bored.

In this follow-up to The Magical Yet (2020), a child finds an antidote to apathy.

Talk about ennui! The red-spectacled, brown-skinned, dark-haired young protagonist is listless and bored. The little one has tried everything: the computer, toys…YAWN! But as the rhyming narration bounces along at a sprightly clip, a visitor arrives at the door. It’s the Curious Why, who resembles a flowery, leafy artichoke. The Curious Why ushers the child along on an inspirational path to great fun and tremendous learning. “You’re only bored if you choose to be,” says the Curious Why. There’s an enormous world out there just waiting to be explored by anyone who’s willing to be a “knowledge-collector” and a “gotta-know creature.” In other words, kids should ask questions about everything going on in the world. Where does the Why go for answers to these queries? The library, of course! On the next spread, we see the protagonist reading a book atop a winged prehistoric creature while dinosaurs mill about in the background. Other kids explore their passions, too; one uses a telescope to study the stars, another bakes, and another learns about bees. DiTerlizzi offers youngsters an upbeat, sensible cure for a serious case of the blahs; it’s not necessarily guaranteed to work, but it’s definitely worth a try. Readers will love the colorful, energetic, swirling digital illustrations, especially those dinos. Background characters are diverse.

Why not? Fun, cheery, and entertaining: just the ticket for the perennially inquisitive—or perpetually bored. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 7, 2024

ISBN: 9780316500142

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2024

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