A cute read for any family that is missing out on sports (or needs a change-up in their bedtime reading).

READ REVIEW

HUDDLE UP! CUDDLE UP!

There’s nothing that brings a family together with excitement and energy quite like sports.

This bedtime routine is anything but boring as the coaches (also known as parents) help their kids get ready for bed. As soon as the family enters the house it is a rush to complete the sports-themed Sunday-night bedtime routine. Each page incorporates sport terms and, often, football plays as they hustle. They need to get clothes from the laundry (Dad hikes an armful through his legs to an enthusiastic youngster), brush their teeth (in unison, to a stopwatch), take a bath (which begins like a Gatorade dunk), and of course tidy up (all in record time, of course). The family dog even plays a special part in making sure the team gets the ball over the goal line—watch out for “unnecessary ruffness.” Sports fans will love the idea of gathering the family together for a “Story-Time-Out” as they settle their children for a nap or at night. Most of the sports terms incorporated are football-related, but an occasional basketball or hockey term helps keep up the frantic pace. Deas’ movement-filled cartoons depict a Black-appearing mom, a White-appearing dad, their two brown-skinned kids, and a shaggy black mutt making happy mayhem in this comfortable, middle-class home. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-16-inch double-page spreads viewed at 41.3% of actual size.)

A cute read for any family that is missing out on sports (or needs a change-up in their bedtime reading). (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-11562-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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Sincere and wholehearted.

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I PROMISE

The NBA star offers a poem that encourages curiosity, integrity, compassion, courage, and self-forgiveness.

James makes his debut as a children’s author with a motivational poem touting life habits that children should strive for. In the first-person narration, he provides young readers with foundational self-esteem encouragement layered within basketball descriptions: “I promise to run full court and show up each time / to get right back up and let my magic shine.” While the verse is nothing particularly artful, it is heartfelt, and in her illustrations, Mata offers attention-grabbing illustrations of a diverse and enthusiastic group of children. Scenes vary, including classrooms hung with student artwork, an asphalt playground where kids jump double Dutch, and a gym populated with pint-sized basketball players, all clearly part of one bustling neighborhood. Her artistry brings black and brown joy to the forefront of each page. These children evince equal joy in learning and in play. One particularly touching double-page spread depicts two vignettes of a pair of black children, possibly siblings; in one, they cuddle comfortably together, and in the other, the older gives the younger a playful noogie. Adults will appreciate the closing checklist of promises, which emphasize active engagement with school. A closing note very generally introduces principles that underlie the Lebron James Family Foundation’s I Promise School (in Akron, Ohio). (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at 15% of actual size.)

Sincere and wholehearted. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 11, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-297106-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2020

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The tips garnered here could be used to scare just about anyone, and for those scared of ghosts, at least your carpets will...

HOW TO SCARE A GHOST

From the How To... series

Reagan and Wildish continue their How to… series with this Halloween-themed title.

If you’ve ever had a hankering to scare a ghost, this handbook is what you need. In it, a pair of siblings shows readers “how to attract a ghost” (they like creepily carved pumpkins and glitter), identify a ghost (real ghosts “never, ever open doors”), and scare a ghost (making faces, telling scary stories). Also included is a warning not to go too far—a vacuum is over-the-top on the scary chart for ghosts. Once you’ve calmed your ghost again, it’s time to play (just not hide-and-seek or on a trampoline) and then decide on costumes for trick-or-treating. Your ghost will also need to learn Halloween etiquette (knocking instead of floating through doors). The title seems a little misleading considering only two spreads are dedicated to trying to scare a ghost, but the package as a whole is entertaining. Wildish’s digital cartoon illustrations are as bright as ever, and the brother and sister duo have especially expressive faces. Both are white-presenting, as are all the other characters except for some kids in the very last spread.

The tips garnered here could be used to scare just about anyone, and for those scared of ghosts, at least your carpets will be clean from all the vacuuming. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 21, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-0190-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

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