Readers will love choosing their favorite, strangest, or funniest or coming up with their own quirky ideas.

READ REVIEW

ABCS OF WHAT I CAN BE

Diverse children act out 100 different careers, organized alphabetically from “astronaut” to “Zumba instructor.”

The layout effectively uses panels to expand the sense of possibility, with, usually, four career alternatives presented per letter/page. L stands for “lawyer,” “landscaper,” “lifeguard,” and, of course, “librarian,” for instance. Just four letters—H, J, Q, and Z—are allotted only three choices each. The illustrations employee a flat, naïve perspective and include comic touches. In the P group, a “police officer” (a woman of color) is depicted eating a doughnut. To illustrate “yarn maker,” a child with beige skin is wrapped up in yarn like a big spool. As two “groomers” (both children of color) trim a poodle, a cat seems ready to stick the plug for the electric clippers into an inhabited hamster ball. Most of the selections are logical, but a few stretch credulity, at least as careers, such as “yo-yo competitor” and “yodeler.” There are four choices for X, but with no legend or explanation, it’s up to adult caregivers to help kids understand “xerophytic gardener” and “exobiologist” (they’ll probably pick up on “xylophone player” and “X-ray technician” without much difficulty). Overall, the illustrations provide the fun while the selection of jobs makes the book useful, and the vigorous eye to diversity is a real plus.

Readers will love choosing their favorite, strangest, or funniest or coming up with their own quirky ideas. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Dec. 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3782-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

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Thank you, Gerald and Piggie. We’ll miss you

THE THANK YOU BOOK

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Piggie is “one lucky pig,” and she’s determined to make sure she thanks “everyone who is important to” her in this, the final Elephant & Piggie book.

Gerald is sure his friend will forget someone—“someone important”—but Piggie assures him, “It will be a THANK-O-RAMA!” Piggie proceeds to thank the Squirrels for their great ideas, Snake for playing ball, and the Pigeon “for never giving up.” Piggie thanks and thanks: “I am a thanking machine!” She thanks character after character, even the Flies (“Any time, dude!”), as Gerald continues to interject that she’ll forget “someone VERY important.” Finally Piggie runs out of thanks, and by this time Gerald is steamed. “I goofed,” Piggie says in itty-bitty type, before lavishing thanks on Gerald. But that’s not whom Piggie forgot to thank! A classic Willems tantrum later, Gerald reveals the “someone important”: “Our reader.” Of course. “We could not be ‘us’ without you,” says Gerald, earnestly looking out from the page, and Piggie chimes in, “You are the best!” As Elephant & Piggie books go, this isn’t one of the strongest, but it is a validating valediction to fans of the two characters, who have won Willems two Geisel Medals and five Honors. Yes, Gerald and Piggie have ushered countless readers into literacy, but as they rightly note, reading is a collaborative act.

Thank you, Gerald and Piggie. We’ll miss you . (Early reader. 5-8)

Pub Date: May 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4231-7828-6

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2016

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

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

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 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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