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THERE MIGHT BE LOBSTERS

Just “beachy.” (Picture book. 3-6)

A little dog named Sukie overcomes her fear of all things “beachy” in this new picture book.

Sukie, a small black-and-white dog that has the look of a hound, will not budge when Eleanor, a child of color with light brown skin and curly dark hair, encourages her to come down the steps to the beach. Italicized text gets into Sukie’s canine mind to detail her many fears as justification for staying put with the stuffed toy monkey Chunka Munka beside her. Eleanor brings them both down the stairs, but fearful Sukie refuses to play with a beach ball or to romp in the waves, and her list of fears expands, sometimes varying in particulars but always ending with one about the titular lobsters. “But Sukie was just a small dog, / and the beach ball was big and beachy, / and it might hit her in the nose, / and then it would pop, / and it might be too loud, / …and, besides, beach balls attract lobsters.” But then Chunka Munka is pulled out to sea by the tides, and Sukie heroically swims out to rescue her. There’s ample humor in the watercolor, acrylic, and ink illustrations and heaping doses of compassion, too. Sly inclusions of lobsters in the details, in particular, will provoke readers’ laughter as they cheer on Sukie and applaud Eleanor’s pluck and patience.

Just “beachy.” (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 9, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7542-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2017

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WOO HOO! YOU'RE DOING GREAT!

WOO-HOO! This is the perfect way to foster healthy self-esteem in little ones.

What’s better than a cheerleading chicken?

Are you ever blue, unsure, tired, or overworked? Do you ever feel lost or overwhelmed? This uplifting book, expressed in delightful, jaunty verse, explains how to lift your spirits pronto: What you need is a booster chicken telling you’re doing great even when you’re not so confident, as when you’re learning or practicing a new skill, for instance. Your feathered champion will be right there, encouraging you all the way, with a loud “WOO HOO!” that’ll keep you going and remove any doubt you’re super terrific. But what if your cheerful chick errs and doesn’t do what it set out to do? Don’t worry—your cheery chicken just needs a reminder that everyone makes mistakes. That alone is a pep talk, enhanced by the wisdom that making mistakes allows everyone to learn and demonstrate they did their best. So forgive yourself, chickens! But the best thing is…instead of relying on someone else—like a chicken—to strengthen your ego, say a generous daily “WOO HOO!” to yourself. This riotous book hits all the right notes and does so succinctly and hilariously. The energetic, comical illustrations, in Boynton’s signature style, will elicit giggles and go far to make the book’s important point. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

WOO-HOO! This is the perfect way to foster healthy self-esteem in little ones. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 4, 2023

ISBN: 978-0-316-48679-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2023

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IZZY GIZMO AND THE INVENTION CONVENTION

From the Izzy Gizmo series

A disappointing follow-up.

Inventor Izzy Gizmo is back in this sequel to her eponymous debut (2017).

While busily inventing one day, Izzy receives an invitation from the Genius Guild to their annual convention. Though Izzy’s “inventions…don’t always work,” Grandpa (apparently her sole caregiver) encourages her to go. The next day they undertake a long journey “over fields, hills, and waves” and “mile after mile” to isolated Technoff Isle. There, Izzy finds she must compete against four other kids to create the most impressive machine. The colorful, detail-rich illustrations chronicle how poor Izzy is thwarted at every turn by Abi von Lavish, a Veruca Salt–esque character who takes all the supplies for herself. But when Abi abandons her project, Izzy salvages the pieces and decides to take Grandpa’s advice to create a machine that “can really be put to good use.” A frustrated Izzy’s impatience with a friend almost foils her chance at the prize, but all’s well that ends well. There’s much to like: Brown-skinned inventor girl Izzy is an appealing character, it’s great to see a nurturing brown-skinned male caregiver, the idea of an “Invention Convention” is fun, and a sustainable-energy invention is laudable. However, these elements don’t make up for rhymes that often feel forced and a lackluster story.

A disappointing follow-up. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68263-164-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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