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DOG MEETS DOG

From the I Like To Read series

Serviceable content slightly marred by inconsistent illustrations.

One dog shows another dog the ins and outs of friendship.

When Big Dog meets Little Dog, Big Dog says “Be my friend.” But “What is a friend?” Little Dog asks. Well, as Big Dog explains, friends “have fun!” They ride the train to the zoo. They board the bus to see boats. They even take a rocket to the moon. Illustrations depict the pair of canines engaging in each of the activities. When snow comes one day, Big Dog decides to take a bath. Little Dog gets his boots and goes out the door alone. The page turns, and—“Oh, no!”—Little Dog falls and gets buried in the snow. Big Dog hears Little Dog’s bark (“WOOF! WOOF! WOOF!”). But can he find and rescue his new friend? This endearing friendship story is Myers’ first new work in decades. The limited vocabulary of around 70 words and their variants and the circular plot make the text accessible to emerging readers. Though the loosely drawn cartoon illustrations are playful, some inconsistencies are distracting. Still, the ample white space and limited color palette add to the text’s accessibility. Most pages feature only animals, but those that depict children show a variety of skin tones. Even though both dogs are anthropomorphic, Big Dog wears only a sweater, and Little Dog wears no clothing.

Serviceable content slightly marred by inconsistent illustrations. (Early reader. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4451-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: April 7, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2020

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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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THERE'S A ROCK CONCERT IN MY BEDROOM

Nice enough but not worth repeat reads.

Emma deals with jitters before playing the guitar in the school talent show.

Pop musician Kevin Jonas and his wife, Danielle, put performance at the center of their picture-book debut. When Emma is intimidated by her very talented friends, the encouragement of her younger sister, Bella, and the support of her family help her to shine her own light. The story is straightforward and the moral familiar: Draw strength from your family and within to overcome your fears. Employing the performance-anxiety trope that’s been written many times over, the book plods along predictably—there’s nothing really new or surprising here. Dawson’s full-color digital illustrations center a White-presenting family along with Emma’s three friends of color: Jamila has tanned skin and wears a hijab; Wendy has dark brown skin and Afro puffs; and Luis has medium brown skin. Emma’s expressive eyes and face are the real draw of the artwork—from worry to embarrassment to joy, it’s clear what she’s feeling. A standout double-page spread depicts Emma’s talent show performance, with a rainbow swirl of music erupting from an amp and Emma rocking a glam outfit and electric guitar. Overall, the book reads pretty plainly, buoyed largely by the artwork. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Nice enough but not worth repeat reads. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 29, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-35207-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin

Review Posted Online: Feb. 8, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

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