STILL THIS LOVE GOES ON

This story will remain in readers’ hearts long after this book is shelved.

A love letter to family, home, and Indigenous traditions.

Cree singer/songwriter Sainte-Marie offers a glimpse of her people, their land, and their traditions in this picture book based on the lyrics to one of her songs. Through the eyes of a young child, the book brings to life the cold winter days, the awe of looking up at the nighttime sky, the freedom of running through fields of fragrant summer flowers, the delight of children who dance and sing, and the changing of the seasons. Most of all, with the refrain “Still this love goes on,” the story reminds readers of the joy we experience upon returning to those whom we love and who love us. The soothing cadence of the words, along with heartwarming illustrations by Flett, conjures up images, smells, sounds, and touch as silhouetted buffalo race across the plains and a child with eyes closed smells the burning of sweetgrass. Both the words and the bold artwork, rendered in pencil and pastel and composed digitally, evoke emotional memories of friends and family and of the place we call home. Flat colors contrast with intricate textures, making for an immersive experience. Readers will want to celebrate their own family stories with their children and share knowledge to be passed on. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

This story will remain in readers’ hearts long after this book is shelved. (sheet music, author’s note) (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-77164-807-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Greystone Kids

Review Posted Online: July 12, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2022

CARPENTER'S HELPER

Renata’s wren encounter proves magical, one most children could only wish to experience outside of this lovely story.

A home-renovation project is interrupted by a family of wrens, allowing a young girl an up-close glimpse of nature.

Renata and her father enjoy working on upgrading their bathroom, installing a clawfoot bathtub, and cutting a space for a new window. One warm night, after Papi leaves the window space open, two wrens begin making a nest in the bathroom. Rather than seeing it as an unfortunate delay of their project, Renata and Papi decide to let the avian carpenters continue their work. Renata witnesses the birth of four chicks as their rosy eggs split open “like coats that are suddenly too small.” Renata finds at a crucial moment that she can help the chicks learn to fly, even with the bittersweet knowledge that it will only hasten their exits from her life. Rosen uses lively language and well-chosen details to move the story of the baby birds forward. The text suggests the strong bond built by this Afro-Latinx father and daughter with their ongoing project without needing to point it out explicitly, a light touch in a picture book full of delicate, well-drawn moments and precise wording. Garoche’s drawings are impressively detailed, from the nest’s many small bits to the developing first feathers on the chicks and the wall smudges and exposed wiring of the renovation. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at actual size.)

Renata’s wren encounter proves magical, one most children could only wish to experience outside of this lovely story. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-12320-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

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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