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HURRY, LITTLE TORTOISE, TIME FOR SCHOOL!

Hurry to read this adorable, delightful twist on a very familiar tale.

Slow and steady wins the day.

Little Tortoise is thrilled about the first day of school. She’s anxious to be punctual, so she zips along as fast as she can. Might she arrive first? Kids will likely understand right away that tortoises aren’t fast, and the humorous, hyperbolic narration clarifies from the outset that Little Tortoise’s “swiftness” is a product of her own wishful, overexaggerated thinking. Her ambition to be first is dashed quickly when, one by one, various other, genuinely fast animal schoolmates overtake her, leaving her less confident about her place in the school-arrival pecking order. She plods on nevertheless, hoping not to be last. When even Snail outpaces her (albeit on a scooter), Little Tortoise is glum. Then, a very special teacher, who fully empathizes with Little Tortoise’s leisureliness, solves a mutual problem and imparts wisdom. But wait—in a riotous ending, a most unexpected student arrives…late! Children will giggle at this funny story about persistence and trying to do one’s best; they’ll definitely root for Little Tortoise. The humor is amplified by swift pacing, abetted by brisk page turns and snappy, exclamatory sentences. Onomatopoeic words and words occasionally set in large capitals enhance the comedic effect. A plus: Kids may learn a bit about various speedy critters. The colorful illustrations exude liveliness; animal characters are very expressive, especially Little Tortoise, who’s an endearing, self-assured charmer. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Hurry to read this adorable, delightful twist on a very familiar tale. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: July 19, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-30566-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House Studio

Review Posted Online: May 24, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2022

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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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THE CURIOUS WHY

From the Magical Yet series , Vol. 2

Why not? Fun, cheery, and entertaining: just the ticket for the perennially inquisitive—or perpetually bored.

In this follow-up to The Magical Yet (2020), a child finds an antidote to apathy.

Talk about ennui! The red-spectacled, brown-skinned, dark-haired young protagonist is listless and bored. The little one has tried everything: the computer, toys…YAWN! But as the rhyming narration bounces along at a sprightly clip, a visitor arrives at the door. It’s the Curious Why, who resembles a flowery, leafy artichoke. The Curious Why ushers the child along on an inspirational path to great fun and tremendous learning. “You’re only bored if you choose to be,” says the Curious Why. There’s an enormous world out there just waiting to be explored by anyone who’s willing to be a “knowledge-collector” and a “gotta-know creature.” In other words, kids should ask questions about everything going on in the world. Where does the Why go for answers to these queries? The library, of course! On the next spread, we see the protagonist reading a book atop a winged prehistoric creature while dinosaurs mill about in the background. Other kids explore their passions, too; one uses a telescope to study the stars, another bakes, and another learns about bees. DiTerlizzi offers youngsters an upbeat, sensible cure for a serious case of the blahs; it’s not necessarily guaranteed to work, but it’s definitely worth a try. Readers will love the colorful, energetic, swirling digital illustrations, especially those dinos. Background characters are diverse.

Why not? Fun, cheery, and entertaining: just the ticket for the perennially inquisitive—or perpetually bored. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 7, 2024

ISBN: 9780316500142

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2024

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